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Full text of "Works;"


presented to 

Zbe Xibrarp 


Tflniversitp of Toronto 













V ' 


___ JXV 



And sold by J. Parker, Oxford ; Deighton and Sons, Cambridge ; D. Brown, 
Waugh and Innes, and H. S. Bajnes and Co. Edinburgh ; Chalmers and 
Collins, and M. Ogle, Glasgow ; M. Keene, and R. M. Tims, Dublin. 



















John v. 39. — Search the Scriptufes, &c. 
E* t«v &ti<w y^a<p£v SeoAoyovjixey, nay &EXa><7<v si i^Sgsi, xav fJ.ii. — Chrysostom. 


An account in general of the nature and design of the 
ensuing discourse, with the reasons why it is made pub- 
lic at this time, being given in the first chapter of the 
treatise itself; I shall not long detain the readers here 
at the entrance of it. But some few things it is neces- 
sary they should be acquainted withal, and that both as 
to the matter contained in it, and as to the manner of 
its handling. The subject matter of the whole, as the 
title and almost every page of the book declare, is, the 
Holy Spirit of God and his Operations. And two 
things there are which, either of them, are sufficient to 
render any subject either difficult on the one hand, or un- 
pleasant on the other, to be treated of in this way ; both 
which we have herein to conflict withal. For where the 
matter itself is abstruse and mysterious, the handling of 
it cannot be without its difficulties ; and where it is fall- 
en, by any means whatever, under public contempt and 
scorn, there is an abatement of satisfaction in the con- 
sideration and defence of it. Now all the concernments 
of the Holy Spirit are an eminent part of the mystery, 
or * deep things of God.' For as the knowledge of 
them doth wholly depend on, and is regulated by, Di- 
vine Revelation, so are they in their own nature divine 
vol. n. b 


An account in general of the nature and design of the 
ensuing- discourse, with the reasons why it is made pub- 
lic at this time, being given in the first chapter of the 
treatise itself; I shall not long detain the readers here 
at the entrance of it. But some few things it is neces- 
sary they should be acquainted withal, and that both as 
to the matter contained in it, and as to the manner of 
its handling. The subject matter of the whole, as the 
title and almost every page of the book declare, is, the 
Holy Spirit of God and his Operations. And two 
things there are which, either of them, are sufficient to 
render any subject either difficult on the one hand, or un- 
pleasant on the other, to be treated of in this way ; both 
which we have herein to conflict withal. For where the 
matter itself is abstruse and mysterious, the handling of 
it cannot be without its difficulties ; and where it is fall- 
en, by any means whatever, under public contempt and 
scorn, there is an abatement of satisfaction in the con- 
sideration and defence of it. Now all the concernments 
of the Holy Spirit are an eminent part of the mystery, 
or ' deep things of God.' For as the knowledge of 
them doth wholly depend on, and is regulated by, Di- 
vine Revelation, so are they in their own nature divine 
vol. n. b 


and heavenly, distant and remote from all things that 
the heart of man, in the mere exercise of its own rea- 
son or understanding, can rise up unto. But yet, on 
the other hand, there is nothing in the world that is 
more generally despised as foolish and contemptible, 
than the things that are spoken of and ascribed unto 
the Spirit of God. He needs no furtherance in the for- 
feiture of his reputation with many, as a person fanati- 
cal, estranged from the conduct of reason, and all ge- 
nerous principles of conversation, who dares avow an 
interest in his work, or take upon him the defence 
thereof. Wherefore, these things must be a little spoken 
unto, if only to manifest whence relief may be had 
against the discouragements wherewith they are at- 

For the first thing proposed, it must be granted that 
the things here treated of, are in themselves mysterious 
and abstruse. But yet, the way whereby we may en- 
deavour an acquaintance with them, ' according to the 
measure of the gift of Christ unto every one,' is made 
plain in the Scriptures of truth. If this way be neg- 
lected or despised, all other ways of attempting the same 
end, be they never so vigorous or promising, will prove 
ineffectual. What belongs unto it, as to the inward frame 
and disposition of mind in them who search after under- 
standing in these things, what unto the outward use 
of means, what unto the performance of spiritual duties, 
what unto conformity in the whole soul unto each dis- 
covery of truth that is attained, is not my present work 
to declare, nor shall I divert thereunto. If God give 
an opportunity to treat concerning the work of the Holy 
Spirit, enabling us to understand the Scriptures, or the 


mind of God in them, the whole of this way will be at 
large declared. 

At present it may suffice to observe, that God, who 
in himself is the eternal original spring and fountain of 
all truth, is also the only sovereign cause and author of 
its revelation unto us. And whereas that truth which 
originally is one in him, is of various sorts and kinds, 
according to the variety of the things which it respects 
in its communication unto us, the ways and means of 
that communication are suited unto the distinct nature 
of each truth in particular. So the truth of things na- 
tural is made known from God by the exercise of reason, 
or the due application of the understanding that is in 
man unto their investigation. ' For the things of a man 
knoweth the spirit of a man that is in him.' Neither, 
ordinarily, is there any thing more required unto that 
degree or certainty of knowledge in things of that na- 
ture whereof our minds are capable, but the diligent 
application of the faculties of our souls in the due use 
of proper means unto the attainment thereof. Yet is 
there a secret work of the Spirit of God herein, even in 
the communication of skill and ability in things natural, 
as also in things civil, moral, political, and artificial, as 
in our ensuing discourse is fully manifested. But where- 
as these things belong unto the work of the old creation, 
and the preservation thereof, or the rule and govern- 
ment of mankind in this world, merely as rational crea- 
tures, there is no use of means, no communication of aids 
spiritual or supernatural, absolutely necessary to be ex- 
ercised or granted about them. Wherefore, knowledge 
and wisdom, in things of this nature, are distributed 
promiscuously among all sorts of persons, according to 



the foundation of their natural abilities, and a super- 
struction thereon in their diligent exercise, without any- 
peculiar application to God for especial grace or as- 
sistance, reserving still a liberty unto the sovereignty of 
Divine Providence in the disposal of all men and their 

But as to things supernatural, the knowledge and 
truth of them, the teachings of God are of another 
nature; and, in like manner, a peculiar application of 
ourselves unto him for instruction, is required of us. 
In these things also there are degrees, according as 
they approach, on the one hand, unto the infinite abyss 
of the divine essence and existence ; as the eternal ge- 
neration and incarnation of the Son, the procession and 
mission of the Holy Spirit; or, on the other, unto those 
divine effects which are produced in our souls, where- 
of we have experience. According unto these degrees, 
as the divine condescension is exerted in their revela- 
tion, so ought our attention in the exercise of faith, hu- 
mility, and prayer, to be increased in our inquiries into 
them. For although all that diligence in the use of 
outward means, necessary to the attainment of the 
knowledge of any other useful truth, be indispensably 
required in the pursuit of an acquaintance with these 
things also ; yet, if, moreover, there be not an addition 
of spiritual ways and means suited in their own nature, 
and appointed of God, unto the receiving of superna- 
tural light, and the understanding of the deep things of 
God, our labour about them will, in a great measure, 
be but fruitless and unprofitable. For although the 
letter of the Scripture, and the sense of the propositions 
are equally exposed to the reason of all mankind ; yet 


the real spiritual knowledge of the things themselves 
is not communicated unto any but by the especial ope- 
ration of the Holy Spirit; nor is any considerable de- 
gree of insight into the doctrine of the mysteries of 
them attainable but by a due waiting on him, who alone 
giveth ' the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the 
knowledge of them.' ' For the things of God knoweth 
no man but the Spirit of God, and they to whom by 
him they are revealed.' Neither can the Scriptures be 
interpreted aright but by the aid of that Spirit by which 
they were indited, as Hierom affirms, and as I shall 
afterward fully prove. But in the use of the means 
mentioned we need not despond, but that, seeing these 
things themselves are revealed that we may know God 
in a due manner, and live unto him as we ought, we 
may attain such a measure of spiritual understanding 
in them as is useful unto our own and others' edifica- 
tion. They may, I say, do so who are not slothful in 
hearing or learning, but ' by reason of use have their 
senses exercised to discern both good and evil.' 

Wherefore, the subject of the ensuing discourses be- 
ing entirely things of this nature, in their several degrees 
of access unto God or ourselves, I shall give no account 
of any particular endeavours in my inquiries into them, 
but leave the judgment thereof unto the evidence of 
the effects produced thereby. Only, whereas I know 
not any who ever went before me in this design of re- 
presenting the whole economy of the Holy Spirit, with 
all his adjuncts, operations, and effects, whereof this is 
the first part (the attempt of Crellius, in this kind, being 
only to corrupt the truth in some few instances), as the 
difficulty of my work was increased thereby, so it may 


plead my excuse, if any thing be found not to answer 
so regular a projection, or just a method, as the nature 
of the subject requireth, and as was aimed at. 

In the first part of the whole work, which concerneth 
the name, divine nature, personality, and mission of the 
Holy Spirit, I do but declare and defend the faith of 
the catholic church against the Socinians; with what 
advantage, with what contribution of light or evidence, 
strength or order, unto what hath been pleaded before 
by others, is left unto the learned readers to judge and 
determine. And in what concerns the adjuncts and 
properties of his mission and operation, some may, and 
I hope do, judge themselves not unbeholden unto me 
for administering an occasion unto them of deeper and 
better thoughts about them. 

The second part of our endeavour concerneth the 
work of the Holy Spirit in the old creation, both in its 
production, preservation, and rule. And whereas I had 
not therein the advantage of any one ancient or modern 
author, to beat out the paths of truth before me, I have 
confined myself to express testimonies of Scripture with 
such expositions of them, as sufficiently evidence their 
own truth, though also they want not such a suffrage 
from others, as may give them the reputation of some 

The like may be said of what succeeds in the next 
place, concerning his work under the New Testament, 
preparatory for the new creation, in the communication 
of all sorts of gifts, ordinary and extraordinary; all 
kind of skill and ability in things spiritual, natural, 
moral, artificial, and political, with the instances where- 
by those operations of his are confirmed. All these 


things, many wherefore are handled by others sepa- 
rately and apart, are here proposed in their order with 
respect unto their proper end and design. 

For what concerns his work on the head of the new 
creation, or the human nature in the person of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, I have been careful to keep severely 
under the bounds of sobriety, and not to indulge unto 
any curious or unwarrantable speculations. I have, 
therefore, therein not only diligently attended unto the 
doctrine of the Scripture, our only infallible rule and 
guide, but also expressly considered what was taught 
and believed in the ancient church in this matter, from 
which I know that I have not departed. 

More I shall not add, as to the first difficulty where- 
with an endeavour of this kind is attended, arising 
from the nature of the subject treated of. The other, 
concerning the contempt that is cast by many on all 
these things, must yet be farther spoken unto. 

In all the dispensations of God towards his people 
under the Old Testament, there was nothing of good 
communicated unto them, nothing of worth or excel- 
lency wrought in them, or by them, but it is expressly 
assigned unto the Holy Spirit as the author and cause 
of it. But yet of all the promises given unto them, 
concerning a better and more glorious state of the 
church to be afterward introduced, next unto that of 
the coming of the Son of God in the flesh, those are 
the most eminent which concern an enlargement and 
more full communication of the Spirit, beyond what 
they were or could in their imperfect state be made 
partakers of. Accordingly we find in the New Testa- 
ment, that whatever concerns the conversion of the 


elect, the edification of the church, the sanctification 
and consolation of believers ; the performance of those 
duties of obedience which we owe unto God, with our 
conduct in all the ways thereof, is in general and par- 
ticular instances so appropriated unto him, as that it is 
withal declared, that nothing of it in any kind can be 
enjoyed or performed, without his especial operation, 
aid, and assistance. So careful was God fully to in- 
struct and to secure the faith of the church in this 
matter, according as he knew its eternal concernments 
to lie therein. Yet, notwithstanding all the evidence 
given hereunto, the church of God in most ages hath 
been exercised with oppositions, either to his person 
or his work, or the manner of it, contrary unto what is 
promised and declared concerning them in the word of 
truth ; nor doth it yet cease so to be. Yea, though the 
contradictions of some in former ages have been fierce 
and clamorous, yet all that hath fallen out of that kind, 
have been exceeding short of what is come to pass in 
the days wherein we live. For not to mention the So- 
cinians, who have gathered into one head, or rather 
ulcerous imposthume, all the virulent oppositions made 
unto his Deity or grace, by the Photinians, Macedo- 
nians, and Pelagians of old ; there are others, who, pro- 
fessing no enmity unto his divine person, yea, ad- 
mitting and owning the doctrine of the church con- 
cerning it, are yet ready on all occasions to despise 
and reproach that whole work, for which he was pro- 
mised under the Old Testament, and which is expressly 
assigned unto him in the New. Hence is it grown 
amongst many a matter of reproach and scorn, for any 
one to make mention of his grace, or to profess an in- 


terest in that work of his, as his, without which no man 
shall see God, if the Scripture be a faithful testimony. 
And some have taken pains to prove, that sundry things 
which are expressly assigned unto him in the gospel as 
effects of his power and grace, are only filthy enthu- 
siasms, or at least weak imaginations of distempered 
minds. Neither is there any end of calumnious impu- 
tations ori them, by whom his work is avowed, and his 
grace professed. Yea, the deportment of many herein 
is such, as that if it were not known how effectual the 
efforts of profaneness are upon the corrupted minds of 
men, it would rather seem ridiculous and be despised, 
than to deserve any serious notice. For let any avow 
or plead for the known work of the Spirit of God, and 
it is immediately apprehended a sufficient ground to 
charge them with leaving the rule of the word to attend 
unto revelations and inspirations, as also to forego all 
thoughts of the necessity of the duties of obedience ; 
whereas no other work of his is pleaded for, but that 
only without which no man can either attend unto the 
rule of the Scripture as he ought, or perform any one 
duty of obedience unto God in a due manner. And 
there are none of this conspiracy so weak or unlearned, 
but are able to scoff at the mention of him, and to cast 
the very naming of him on others as a reproach. Yea, 
it is well if some begin not to deal in like manner with 
the person of Christ himself. For error and profane- 
ness, if once countenanced, are at all times fruitful and 
progressive, and will be so whilst darkness and cor- 
ruption abiding on the minds of men, the great adver- 
sary is able by his subtile malice to make impressions 
on them. But in these things not a few do please 


themselves, despise others, and would count them- 
selves injured, if their Christianity should be called in 
question. But what value is there in that name or 
title, where the whole mystery of the gospel is ex- 
cluded out of our religion? Take away the dispensation 
of the Spirit, and his effectual operations in all the in- 
tercourse that is between God and man ; be ashamed 
to avow or profess the work attributed unto him in the 
gospel, and Christianity is plucked up by the roots. 
Yea, this practical contempt of the work of the Holy 
Spirit, being grown the only plausible defiance of re- 
ligion, is so also to be the most pernicious, beyond all 
notional mistakes and errors about the same things, 
being constantly accompanied with profaneness, and 
commonly issuing in atheism. 

The sense I intend is fully expressed in the ensuing 
complaint of a learned person published many years 
ao-o ; ' In seculo hodie tarn perverso prorsus immersi 
vivimus miseri, in quo Spiritus Sanctus omnino ferme^ 
pro ludibrio habetur : imo in quo etiam sunt qui non 
tantum corde toto eum repudient ut factis negent, sed 
quoque adeo blasphemi in eum exurgant ut penitus 
eundem ex orbe expulsum aut exulatum cupiant, quum 
illi nullam in operationibus suis relinquant efficaciam; 
ac propriis vanorum habituum suorum viribus, ac ra- 
tionis profanse libertati carnalitatique suae omnem as- 
cribant sapientiam, et fortitudinem in rebus agendis. 
Unde tanta malignitas externa? proterviae apud mortales 
cernitur. Ideoque pernicies nostra nos jam ante fores 
expectat,' &c. Herein lies the rise and spring of that 
stated apostacy from the power of evangelical truth, 
wherein the world takes its liberty to immerge itself in 


all licentiousness of life and conversation, the end 
whereof many cannot but expect with dread and terror. 

To obviate these evils in any measure, to vindicate 
the truth and reality of divine spiritual operations in 
the church, to avow what is believed and taught by 
them concerning the Holy Spirit and his Work, who 
are most charged and reflected on for their profession 
thereof, and thereby to evince the iniquity of those ca- 
lumnies, under the darkness and shades whereof some 
seek to countenance themselves in their profane scof- 
fing at his whole dispensation: to manifest in all in- 
stances that what is ascribed unto him, is not only 
consistent with religion, but also that without which 
religion cannot consist, nor the power of it be pre- 
served, is the principal design of the ensuing dis- 

Now whereas the effectual operation of the blessed 
Spirit in the regeneration or conversion of sinners, is 
of all other parts of his work most violently opposed, 
and hath of late been virulently traduced, I have the 
more largely insisted thereon. And because it can 
neither be well understood, nor duly explained, with- 
out the consideration of the state of lapsed or corrupted 
nature, I have taken in that also at large, as judging it 
necessary so to do. For whereas the knowledge of it 
lies at the bottom of all our obedience unto God by 
Christ, it hath always been the design of some, and 
yet continueth so to be, either wholly to deny it, 
or to extenuate it unto the depression and almost anni- 
hilation of the grace of the gospel, whereby alone our 
nature can be repaired. Designing, therefore, to treat 
expressly of the reparation of our nature by grace, it 


was on all accounts necessary that we should treat of 
its depravation by sin also. 

Moreover, what is discoursed on these things is suit- 
ed unto the edification of them that do believe, and di- 
rected unto their furtherance in true spiritual obedience 
and holiness, or the obedience of faith. Hence, it may 
be, some will judge that our discourses on these sub- 
jects are drawn out into a greater length than was 
needful or convenient, by that continual intermixture 
of practical applications which runs along in them all. 
But if they shall be pleased to consider, that my design 
was not to handle these things in a way of controversy, 
but declaring and confirming the truth concerning 
them, to accommodate the doctrines treated of unto 
practice ; and that I dare not treat of things of this 
nature in any other way, but such as may promote the 
edification of the generality of believers, they will either 
be of my mind, or it may be without much difficulty 
admit of my excuse. However, if these things are 
neglected or despised by some, yea, be they never so 
many, there are yet others who will judge their prin- 
cipal concernment to lie in such discourses as may di- 
rect and encourage them in the holy practice of their 
duty. And whereas the way, manner, and method of 
the Holy Spirit in his operations, as to this work of 
translating: sinners from death unto life, from a state of 
nature unto that of grace, have been variously handled 
by some, and severely reflected on with scorn by 
others; I have endeavoured so to declare and assert 
what the Scripture manifestly teacheth concerning 
them, confirming it with the testimonies of some of 
the ancient writers of the church, as I no way doubt 


but it is suited unto the experience of them who have 
in their own souls been made partakers of that blessed 
work of the Holy Ghost. And whilst in the substance 
of what is delivered, I have the plain testimonies of the 
Scripture, the suffrage of the ancient church, and the 
experience of them who do sincerely believe, to rest 
upon, I shall not be greatly moved with the censures 
and opposition of those who are otherwise minded. 

I shall add no more on this head, but that whereas 
the only inconvenience wherewith our doctrine is 
pressed, is, the pretended difficulty in reconciling the 
nature and necessity of our duty, with the efficacy of 
the grace of the Spirit ; I have been so far from waving 
the consideration of it, as that I have embraced every 
opportunity to examine it in all particular instances, 
wherein it may be urged with most appearance of pro- 
bability. And it is, I hope, at length made to appear, 
that not only the necessity of our duty is consistent 
with the efficacy of God's grace ; but also that, as on 
the one hand, we can perform no duty to God as we 
ought without its aid and assistance, nor have any en- 
couragement to attempt a course of obedience without 
a just expectation thereof; so on the other, that the 
work of grace itself is no way effectual, but in our 
compliance with it in a way of duty ; only with the 
leave of some persons, or whether they will or no, we 
give the pre-eminence in all unto grace, and not unto 
ourselves. The command of God is the measure and 
rule of our industry and diligence, in a way of duty; 
and why any one should be discouraged from the exer- 
cise of that industry which God requires of him, by 
the consideration of the aid and assistance which he 


hath promised unto him, I cannot understand. The 
work of obedience is difficult and of the highest im- 
portance, so that if any one can be negligent therein, 
because God will help and assist him, it is because he 
hates it, he likes it not. Let others do what they please, 
I shall endeavour to comply with the apostle's advice 
upon the enforcement which he gives unto it ; ' Work 
out your own salvation with fear and trembling ; for it 
is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of 
his own good pleasure.' 

These things, with sundry of the like nature, fall- 
ing unavoidably under consideration, have drawn out 
these discourses unto a length much beyond my first 
design ; which is also the occasion why I have forborne 
the present adding unto them those other parts of the 
work of the Holy Spirit, in prayer or supplication, in 
illumination with respect unto the belief of the Scrip- 
ture, and right understanding of the mind of God in 
them, in the communication of gifts unto the church, 
and the consolation of believers, which must now wait 
for another opportunity, if God in his goodness and 
patience shall be pleased to grant it unto us. 

Another part of the work of the Holy Spirit con- 
sisteth in our sanctification, whereon our evangelical 
obedience or holiness doth depend. How much all his 
operations herein also are by some despised, what en- 
deavours there have been to debase the nature of gos- 
pel-obedience, yea, to cast it out of the hearts and lives 
of Christians, and to substitute a heathenish honesty 
at best in the room thereof, is not unknown to any, who 
think it their duty to inquire into these things. Hence 
I thought it not unnecessary on the occasion of treat- 


ing concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in our 
sanctification, to make a diligent and full inquiry in- 
to the true nature of evangelical holiness, and that 
spiritual life unto God which all believers are created 
unto in Christ Jesus. And herein, following the con- 
duct of the Scriptures from first to last, the difference 
that is between them and that exercise of moral virtue 
which some plead for in their stead, did so evidently 
manifest itself, as that it need no great endeavour to 
represent it unto any impartial judgment. Only in the 
handling of these things, I thought meet to pursue my 
former method and design, and principally to respect 
the reducing of the doctrines insisted on unto the prac- 
tice and improvement of holiness, which also hath oc- 
casioned the lengthening of these Discourses. I doubt 
not but all these things will be by some despised ; they 
are so in themselves, and their declaration by me will 
not recommend them unto a better acceptation. But 
let them please themselves whilst they see good in their 
own imaginations ; whilst the Scripture is admitted to 
be an infallible declaration of the will of God and the 
nature of spiritual things ; and there are Christians re- 
maining in the world who endeavour to live to God, and 
to come to the enjoyment of him by Jesus Christ ; there 
will not want sufficient testimony against that putid 
figment of moral virtue being all our gospel holiness, 
or that the reparation of our natures and life unto God 
do consist therein alone. 

In the last place succeeds a Discourse concerning 
the necessity of holiness and obedience ; some regard I 
confess I had therein, though not much, unto the ridi- 
culous clamours of malevolent and ignorant persons, 


charging- those who plead for the efficacy of the grace 
of God, and the imputation of the righteousness of 
Christ, as though thereby they took away the necessity 
of a holy life. For who would much trouble himself 
about an accusation which is laden with as many con- 
victions of its forgery as there are persons who sincerely 
believe those doctrines; and which common light gives 
testimony against in the conversations of them by whom 
they are received, and by whom they are despised ? It 
was the importance of the thing itself, made peculiarly 
seasonable by the manifold temptations of the days 
wherein we live, which occasioned that addition unto 
what was delivered about the nature of evangelical 
holiness ; seeing, ' if we know these things, happy are 
we if we do them.' But yet, the principal arguments 
and demonstrations of that necessity being drawn from 
those doctrines of the gospel which some traduce as 
casting no good aspect thereon, the calumnies mentioned 
are therein also obviated. And thus far have we pro- 
ceeded in the declaration and vindication of the de- 
spised work of the Spirit of God under the New Testa- 
ment, referring the remaining instances above-men- 
tioned unto another occasion. 

The oppositions unto all that we believe and main- 
tain herein are of two sorts. First, Such as consist in 
particular exceptions against, and objections unto, each 
particular work of the Spirit, whether in the communi- 
cation of gifts, or the operation of grace. Secondly, 
Such as consist in reflections cast on the whole work 
ascribed unto him in general. Those of the first sort, 
will all of them fall under consideration in their proper 
places, where we treat of those especial actings of the. 


Spirit whereunto they are opposed. The other sort, at 
least the principal of them, wherewith some make the 
greatest noise in the world, may be here briefly spoken 

The first and chief pretence of this nature, is, that all 
those who plead for the effectual operations of the Holy 
Spirit, in the illumination of the minds of men, the re- 
paration of their natures, the sanctification of their per- 
sons, and their endowment with spiritual gifts, are 
therein and thereby enemies to reason, and impugn the 
use of it in religion, or at least allow it not that place 
and exercise therein which is its due. Hence some of 
those who are otherwise minded, affirm that it is cast on 
them as a reproach that they are rational divines ; al- 
though, so far as I can discern, if it be so, it is, as Hie- 
rom was beaten by an angel for being a Ciceronian (in 
the judgment of some), very undeservedly. But the 
grounds whereon this charge should be made good, 
have not as yet been made to appear ; neither hath it 
been evinced that any thing is ascribed by us unto the 
efficacy of God's grace, in the least derogatory unto 
reason, its use, or any duty of man depending thereon. 
I suppose we are agreed herein, that the reason of man 
in the state wherein we are, is not sufficient in itself to 
find out or frame a religion whereby we may please 
God, and be accepted with him. Or if we are not 
agreed herein, yet I shall not admit it as a part of our 
present controversy ; wherein we suppose a religion 
proceeding from, and resolved into, supernatural reve- 
lation. Neither is it, that I know of, as yet pleaded by 
any, that reason is able to comprehend all the things in 
their nature and being, or to search them out unto per- 
vol. ii. c 


fection, which are revealed unto us ; for we do not di- 
rectly deal with them by whom the principal mysteries 
of the gospel are rejected, because they cannot com- 
prehend them, under a pretence that what is above .rea- 
son is against it. And it may be, it will be granted 
moreover, that natural reason cannot enable the mind 
of a man unto a saving perception of spiritual things 
as revealed, without the especial aid of the Spirit of 
God in illumination. If this be denied by any, as we 
acknowledge ° ur dissent from them, so we know that 
we do no injury to reason thereby, and will rather suf- 
fer under the imputation of so doing, than by renounc- 
ing of the Scripture to turn infidels, that we may be 
esteemed rational. But we cannot conceive how reason 
should be prejudiced by the advancement of the rational 
faculties of our souls, with respect unto their exercise 
towards their proper objects ; which is all we assign 
unto the work of the Holy Spirit in this matter. And 
there are none in the world more free to grant than we 
are, that unto us our reason is the only judge of the 
sense and truth of propositions drawn from the Scrip- 
ture, or proposed therein ; and do wish that all men 
might be left peaceable under that determination, where 
we l^now they must abide, whether they will or no. 

But the inquiry in this matter, is, what reasonable- 
ness appears in the mysteries of our religion when re- 
vealed unto our reason ; and what ability we have to 
receive, believe, and obey them as such ? The latter 
part of this inquiry is so fully spoken unto in the en- 
suing- Discourses, as that I shall not here again insist 
upon it ; the former may in a few words be spoken unto. 
It cannot be. it is not, that I know of, denied by any, 


that Christian religion is highly reasonable. For it is 
the effect of the infinite reason, understanding, and wis- 
dom, of God. But the question is not, what it is in it- 
self ; but what it is in relation to our reason, or how it 
appears thereunto ? And there is no doubt but every 
thing in Christian religion appears highly reasonable 
unto reason enlightened, or the mind of man affected 
with that work of grace in its renovation, which is so 
expressly ascribed unto the Holy Spirit in the Scripture. 
For as there is a suitableness between an enlightened 
mind and spiritual mysteries as revealed ; so seeing 
them in their proper light, it finds by experience their 
necessity, use, goodness, and benefit, with respect unto 
our chiefest good and supreme end. It remains, there- 
fore, only, that we inquire how reasonable the mysteries 
of Christian religion are unto the minds of men as cor- 
rupted ; for that they are so by the entrance of sin, as 
we believe, so we have proved in the ensuing treatise. 
And it is in vain to dispute with any about the reason- 
ableness of evangelical faith and obedience, until the 
state and condition of our reason be agreed. Where- 
fore, to speak plainly in the case, as we do acknowledge 
that reason, in its corrupted state, is all that any man 
hath in that state, whereby to understand and to judge of, 
the sense and truth of doctrines revealed in the Scrip- 
ture, and in the use of such aids and means as it is ca- 
pable to improve, is more and better unto him than any 
judge or interpreter that should impose a sense upon 
him not suited thereunto ; so, as to the spiritual things 
themselves of the gospel, in their own nature, it is en- 
mity against them, and they are foolishness unto it. If, 
therefore, it be a crime ; if it be to the impeachment 

c 2 


and disadvantage of reason, to affirm that our minds 
stand in need of the renovation of the Holy Ghost, to 
enable them to understand spiritual things in a spiritual 
manner, we do acknowledge ourselves guilty thereof. 
But otherwise, that by asserting the efficacious opera- 
tions of the Spirit of God, and the necessity of them 
unto the discharge of every spiritual duty towards 
God in an acceptable manner, we do deny that use and 
exercise of our own reason in things religious and spi- 
ritual, whereof in any state it is capable, and whereunto 
of God it is appointed, is unduly charged on us, as will 
afterward be fully manifested. 

But it is moreover pretended, that by the operations 
we ascribe unto the Holy Spirit, we expose man to be 
deceived by satanical delusions, open a door to enthu- 
siasms, directing them to the guidance of unaccounta- 
ble impulses and revelations, so making way unto all 
folly and villany. By what means this charge can be 
fixed on them, who professedly avow that nothing is 
good, nothing duty unto us, nothing acceptable unto 
God, but what is warranted by the Scripture directed 
unto thereby and suited thereunto, which is the alone 
perfect rule of all that God requires of us in the way of 
obedience, but only ungrounded clamours, hath not 
yet been attempted to be made manifest. For all 
things of this nature are not only condemned by them, 
but all things which they teach concerning the Holy 
Spirit of God, are the principal ways and means to se- 
cure us from the danger of them. It is true, there have 
been of old, and happily do still continue among some, 
satanical delusions, diabolical suggestions, and foul 
enthusiasms, which have been pretended to proceed 


from the Spirit of God, and to be of a divine original. 
For so it is plainly affirmed in the Scripture, both under 
the Old Testament and the New, directions being there- 
in added for their discovery and disprovement. But 
if we must, therefore, reject the true and real opera- 
tions of the Spirit of God, the principal preservative 
against our being deceived by them, we may as well 
reject the owning of God himself, because the devil 
hath imposed himself on mankind as the object of their 
worship. Wherefore, as to enthusiasms of any kind, 
which might possibly give countenance unto any dia- 
bolical suggestions, we are so far from affirming any 
operations of the Holy Ghost to consist in them, or in 
any thing like unto them, that we allow no pretence 
of them to be consistent therewithal. And we have a 
sure rule to try all these things by, which as we are 
bound in all such cases precisely to attend unto, so 
hath God promised the assistance of his Spirit, that 
they be not deceived, unto them who do it in sincerity. 
What some men intend by impulses, I know not. If 
it be especial aids, assistances, and inclinations unto 
duties, acknowledged to be such, and the duties of per- 
sons so assisted and inclined, and that peculiarly in- 
cumbent on them in their present circumstances, it re- 
quires no small caution that, under an invidious name, 
we reject not those supplies of grace which are pro- 
mised unto us, and which we are bound to pray for. 
But if irrational impressions, or violent inclinations 
unto things or actions which are not acknowledged 
duties in themselves, evidenced by the word of truth, 
and so unto the persons so affected in their present con- 
dition and circumstances, are thus expressed ; as we 


utterly abandon them, so no pretence is given unto 
them from any thing which we believe concerning the 
Holy Spirit and his operations. For the whole work 
which we assign unto him, is nothing but that whereby 
we are enabled to perform that obedience unto God 
which is required in the Scripture, in the way and 
manner wherein it is required. And it is probably 
more out of enmity unto him than us, where the con- 
trary is pretended . The same may be said concerning 
revelations. They are of two sorts ; objective and 
subjective. Those of the former sort, whether they 
contain doctrines contrary unto that of the Scripture, 
or additional thereunto, or seemingly confirmatory 
thereof, they are all universally to be rejected ; the 
former being absolutely false, the latter useless. Nei- 
ther have any of the operations of the Spirit pleaded for 
the least respect unto them. For he having finished the 
whole work of external revelation, and closed it in the 
Scripture, his whole internal spiritual work is suited 
and commensurate thereunto. By subjective revela- 
tions, nothing is intended but that work of spiritual 
illumination, whereby we are enabled to discern and 
understand the mind of God in the Scripture, which 
the apostle prays for in the behalf of all believers 
(Eph. i. 17 — 19.) ; and whose nature, God assisting, 
shall be fully explained hereafter. So little pretence, 
therefore, there is for this charge on them by whom the 
efficacious operations of the Spirit of God are asserted, 
as that without them we have no absolute security that 
we shall be preserved from being imposed on by them, 
or some of them. 

But it may be, it will be said at last, that our whole 


labour in declaring the work of the Spirit of God in us 
and towards us, as well as what we have now briefly 
spoken in the vindication of it from these or the like 
imputations, is altogether vain, seeing all we do or say 
herein, is nothing but canting with unintelligible ex- 
pressions. So some affirm, indeed, before they have 
produced their charter, wherein they are constituted 
the sole judges of what words, what expressions, what 
way of teaching, is proper in things of this nature. 
But by any thing that yet appears, they seem to be as 
unmeet for the exercise of that dictatorship herein 
which they pretend unto, as any sort of men that ever 
undertook the declaration of things sacred and spiri- 
tual. Wherefore, unless they come with better autho- 
rity than as yet they can pretend unto, and give a 
better example of their own way and manner of teach- 
ing such things, than as yet they have done, we shall 
continue to make Scripture phraseology our rule and 
pattern in the declaration of spiritual things, and en- 
deavour an accommodation of all our expressions there- 
unto, whether to them intelligible or not ; and that for 
reasons so easy to be conceived, as that they need not 
here be pleaded. 





1 Cor. xii. 1. opened, nvevparixa, spiritual gifts. Their grant unto, use, and 
abuse, in that church. Jesus, how called Anathema ; impiety of the Jewgi 
How called Lord. The foundation of church-order and worship. In what 
sense we are enabled by the Spirit to call Jesus Lord. The Holy Spirit the 
author of all gifts ; why called God, and the Lord. General distribution of 
spiritual gifts. Proper end of their communication. Nine sorts of gifts ; 
abuse of them in the church. Their tendency unto peace and order. Ge- 
neral design of the ensuing discourse concerning the Spirit and his dispensa- 
tion. Importance of the doctrine concerning the Spirit of God, and his ope- 
rations. Reasons hereof. Promise of the Spirit to supply the absence of 
Christ, as to his human nature. Concernment thereof. Work of the Spirit 
in the ministration of the gospel. All saving good communicated unto us, 
and wrought in us, by him. Sin against the Holy Ghost irremissible. False 
pretences unto the Spirit dangerous. Pretences unto the spirit of prophecy 
under the Old Testament. Two sorts of false prophets : the first ; the second 
sort. Pretenders under the New Testament. The rule for the trial of such 
pretenders, 1 John iv. 1 — 3. Rules to this purpose under the Old and New 
Testament compared. A false spirit set up against the Spirit of God, ex- 
amined. False and noxious opinions concerning the Spirit, and how to be 
obviated. Reproaches of the Spirit and his work. Principles and occa- 
sions of the apostacy of churches under the law and gospel. Dispensation 
of the Spirit not confined to the first ages of the church. The great necessity 
of a diligent inquiry into the things taught, concerning the Spirit of God and 
his work 1 



Of the Name of the Holy Spirit. Various uses of the words rm and wiiZfjut. 
JTH for the wind or any thing invisible with a sensible agitation. Amos iv. 
14. Mistakes of the ancients rectified by Hieroru. rm metaphorically for 
vanity. Metonymically for the part or quarter of any thing. For our vital 
breath. The rational soul. The affections. Angels good and bad. Am- 
biguity from the use of the word, how to be removed. Rules concerning the 
Holy Spirit. The name, Spirit, how peculiar and appropriate unto him. 
Why he is called the Holy Spirit. Whence called the Good Spirit. The 
Spirit of God. The Spirit of the Son, Acts ii. 33. 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. ex- 
plained. 1 John iv. 3. vindicated 40 




Ends of our consideration of the dispensation of the Spirit. Principles premised 
thereunto. The nature of God the foundation of all religion. Divine reve- 
lation gives the rule and measure of religious worship. God hath revealed 
himself as three in one. Distinct actings and operations ascribed unto these 
distinct persons. Therefore the Holy Spirit a divine distinct person. Double 
opposition to the Holy Spirit. By some his personality granted, and his 
Deity denied. His personality denied by the Socinians. Proved against 
them. The open vanity of their pretences. Matt, xxviii. 19. pleaded. Ap- 
pearances of the Spirit under the shape of a dove; explained and improved. 
His appearance as fire opened. His personal subsistence proved. Personal 
properties assigned unto him. Understanding. Argument from hence plead- 
ed and vindicated. A will ; John iii. 8. James iii. 4. cleared. Exceptions 
removed. Power. Other personal ascriptions to him, with testimonies of 
them, vindicated and explained 61 



Things to be observed in divine operations. The works of God, how ascribed 
absolutely unto God, and how distinctly to each person. The reason hereof. 
Perfecting acts in divine works ascribed unto the Holy Spirit, and why. 
Peculiar works of the Spirit, with respect unto the old creation. The parts 
of the old creation. Heaven and its host. What, the host of heaven. The 
host of the earth. The host of heaven completed by the Spirit. And of the 
earth. His moving on the old creation; Psal. civ. 30. The creation of 
man, the work of the Spirit therein. The work of the Spirit, in the preserva- 
tion of all things when created, natural and moral. Farther instances there- 
of, in and out of the church. Work of the Spirit of God in the old creation, 
why sparingly delivered 96 



Dispensation of the Spirit to be learned from the Scripture only ; general ad- 
juncts thereof. The administration of the Spirit and his own application of 
himself to his work how expressed. The Spirit, how and in what sense given 
and received. What is included in the giving of the Spirit. What in re- 
ceiving of him. Privilege and advantage in receiving the Spirit. How God 
is said to send the Spirit ; what is included in sending. How God ministers 
the Spirit. How God is said to put his Spirit on us ; what is included in that 
expression. The Spirit how poured out. What is included and intended 
herein. The ways of the Spirit's application of himself unto his work. His 
proceeding from Father and Son explained. How he cometh unto us. His 
falling on men. His resting. How and in what sense he is said to depart 
from any person. Of the divisions of the Holy Ghost; Heb. ii. 3. Expo- 
sition of them vindicated Ill 





The work of the Spirit of God in the new creation ; by some despised. Works 

under the Old Testament preparatory to the new creation. Distribution of 
the works of the Spirit. The gift of prophecy ; the nature, use, and end of 
it. The beginning of prophecy. The Holy Spirit the only author of it. The 
name of a prophet; its signification, and his work. Prophecy by inspira- 
tion ; whence so called. Prophets how acted by the Holy Ghost. The ad- 
juncts of prophecy, or distinct ways of its communication. Of articulate 
voices. Dreams. Visions. Adjuncts of prophecy. Symbolical actions. 
Hocal mutations. Whether unsanctified persons might have the gift of pro- 
phecy. The case of Balaam. Answered. Of writing the Scriptures. Three 
things required thereunto. Of miracles. Works of the Spirit of God in the 
improvement of the natural faculties of the minds of men in things political.. 
In things moral. In things corporeal. In things intellectual and artificial. 
In preaching of the word 135 



The work of the Spirit of God, in the new creation, proposed to conside- 
ration. The importance of the doctrine hereof. The plentiful effusion of 
the Spirit the great promise respecting the times of the New Testament. 
Ministry of the gospel founded in the promise of the Spirit. How this pro- 
mise is made unto all believers. Injunction to all to pray for the Spirit of 
God. The solemn promise of Christ to send his Spirit when he left the 
world. The ends for which he promised him. The work of the new crea- 
tion the principal means of the revelation of God and his glory. How this 
revelation is made in particular herein 168 



The especial works of the Holy Spirit in the new creation. His work on the 
human nature of Christ. How this work could be considering the union of 
the. human nature unto, and in, the person of the Son of God. Assumption 
of the human nature into uuion, the only act of the person of the Son towards 
it. Personal union the only necessary consequent of this assumption. All 
other actings of the person of the Son in and on the human nature voluntary. 
The Holy Spirit the immediate efficient cause of all divine operations. He 
is the Spirit of the Son or of the Father. How all the works of the Tri- 
nity are undivided. The body of Christ formed in the womb by the Holy 
Ghost; but of the substance of the blessed Virgin ; why this was necessary. 
Christ not hence the Son of the Holy Ghost according to the human nature. 
Difference between the assumption of the human nature by the Son, and the 
creation of it by the Holy Ghost. The conception of Christ, how ascribed 

xxviii CONTENTS. 

to the Holy Ghost, and how to the blessed Virgin. Reasons of the espousal 
of the blessed Virgin to Joseph before the conception of Christ. The actual 
purity and holiness of the soul and body of Christ from his miraculous con- 
ception I 77 



The actual sanctification of the human nature of Christ by the Holy Ghost. 
Go what ground spotless and free from sin. Positively endowed with all 
grace. Original holiness and sanctification in Christ, how carried on by the 
Spirit. Exercise of grace in Christ by the rational faculties of his soul. 
Their improvement. Wisdom and knowledge, how increased objectively in 
the human nature of Christ. The anointing of Christ by the Holy Spirit with 
power and gifts. Collated eminently on him at his baptism. John iii. 34. 
explained and vindicated. Miraculous works wrought in Christ by the Holy 
Ghost. Christ guided, conducted, and supported, by the Spirit in his whole 
work. Mark i. 11. opened. How the Lord Christ offered himself unto God 
through the eternal Spirit. His sanctification thereunto. Graces acting 
eminently therein. Love, zeal, submission, faith, and truth, all exercised 
therein. The work of the Spirit of God towards Christ whilst he was in the 
state of the dead ; in his resurrection and glorification. The office of the 
Spirit to bear witness unto Christ and its discharge. The true way and 
means of coming unto the knowledge of Christ, with the necessity thereof. 
Danger of mistakes herein. What it is to love Christ as we ought 188 





Christ the head of the new creation. Things premised in general unto the re- 
maining work of the Spirit. Things presupposed unto the work of the Spirit 
towards the church, the love and grace of Father and Son. The whole 
work of the building of the church committed to the Holy Spirit; Acts ii. 33. 
opened. The foundation of the church in the promise of the Spirit, and its 
building by him alone. Christ present with his church only by his Spirit; 
Matt, xxviii. 19. Acts i. 9. 10. iii. 21. Matt, xviii. 19. 1 Cor. vi. 16. iii. 16. 
compared. The Holy Spirit works the work of Christ ; John xvi. 13 — 15. 
opened. The Holy Spirit the peculiar author of all grace. The Holy Spirit 
worketh all this according to his own will. 1. His will and pleasure is in 
all his works. 2. He works variously as to the kinds and degrees of his ope- 
rations. How he may be resisted, how not. How the same work is ascribed 
unto the Spirit distinctly, and to others with him. The general heads of his 
operations towards the church 213 




The new creation completed. Regeneration the especial work of the Holy 
Spirit. Wrought under the Old Testament, but clearly revealed in the New; 

CONTENTS. xx i x 

and is of the same kind in all that are regenerate. The causes and way 

of it being the same in all. It consisteth not in baptism alone ; nor in a 
moral reformation of life ; but a new creature is formed in it ; whose nature 
is declared, and farther explained. Denial of the original depravation of 
nature the cause of many noxious opinions. Regeneration consisteth not in 
enthusiastic raptures; their nature and danger. The whole doctrine neces- 
sary, despised, corrupted, vindicated 236 



Sundry things preparatory to the work of conversion. Material and formal 
dispositions with their difference. Things in the power of our natural abili- 
ties required of us in a way of duty. Internal, spiritual effects wrought in 
the souls of men by the word. Illumination. Conviction of sin. Conse- 
quents thereof. These things variously taught. Power of the word and 
energy of the Spirit distinct Subject of this work; mind, affections, and 
conscience. Nature of this whole work, and difference from saving con- 
version, farther declared 262 



Contempt and corruption of the doctrine of regeneration. All men in the 
world regenerate or unregenerate. General description of corrupted nature. 
Depravation of the mind. Darkness upon it. The nature of spiritual dark- 
ness. Reduced into two heads of darkness objective. How removed. Of 
darkness subjective, its nature and power; proved: Eph. iv. 17, 18. 
opened; applied. The mind alienated from the life of God. The life of 
God what it is. The power of the mind, with respect unto spiritual things, 
examined. 1 Cor. ii. 14. opened. Yuj^ixo; avfyoonos, or the natural man, who. 
Spiritual things, what they are. How the natural man cannot know or re- 
ceive spiritual things. Difference between understanding doctrines, and re- 
ceiving of things. A twofold power and ability of mind, with respect unto 
spiritual things, explained. Reasons why a natural man cannot discern spi- 
ritual things. How and wherefore spiritual things are foolishness to natural 
men. Why natural men cannot receive the things of God. A double impo- 
tency in the mind of man by nature. 1 Cor. ii. 14. farther vindicated. 
Power of darkness in persons unregenerate. The miud filled with wills or 
lusts, and enmity thereby. The power and efficacy of spiritual darkness at 
large declared 279 



Of death in sin. All unregenerate men spiritually dead. Spiritual death two- 
fold. Moral. Metaphorical. Life natural, what it is, and wherein it con- 
sists. Death natural, with its necessary consequents, i The supernatural life 
of Adam in iunocency, in its principle, acts, and power. Differences be- 
tween it and our spiritual life in Christ. Death spiritual a privation of the 
life we had in Adam ; a negation of the life of Christ. Privation of a prin- 
ciple of all life to God. Spiritual impotency therein. Differences between 
death natural and spiritual. The use of precepts, promises, and threatenings. 



No man perisheth merely for want of power. No vital acts in an estate of 
death ; the way of the communication of spiritual life. Of what nature are 
the best works of persons unregenerate. No disposition unto spiritual life 
under the power of spiritual death 327 



Description of the state of nature, necessary unto a right understanding of the 
work of the Spirit in regeneration. No possibility of salvation unto persons 
living and dying in a state of sin. Deliverance from it by regeneration only. 
The Holy Ghost the peculiar author of this work. Differences about the 
manner and nature of it. Way of the ancients in explaining the doctrine of 
grace ; the present method proposed. Conversion not wrought by moral 
suasion only. The nature and efficacy of moral suasion, wherein they con- 
sist. Illumination preparatory unto conversion. The nature of grace morally 
effective only, opened ; not sufficient for conversion. The first argument dis- 
proving the working of grace in conversion to be by moral suasion only. 
The second. The third. The fourth. Wherein the work of the Spirit in re- 
generation positively doth consist ; the use and end of outward means. 
Real internal efficiency of the Spirit in this work. Grace victorious and irre- 
sistible, the nature of it explained. Proved. The manner of God's working 
by grace on our wills farther explained. Testimonies concerning the actual 
collation of faith by the power of God. Victorious efficacy of internal grace 
proved by sundry testimonies of Scripture. From the nature of the work 
wrought by it, in vivification and regeneration. Regeneration considered with 
respect unto the distinct faculties of the soul. The mind. The will. The 
affections • 345 




The outward means and manner of conversion to God, or regeneration, with 
the degrees of spiritual operations on the minds of men and their effects, ex- 
emplified in the conversion of Augustine, as the account is given thereof by 
himself 393 




Regeneration the way whereby the Spirit forms living members for the mystical 
body of Christ. Carried on by sanctification ; 2 Thess. v. 23. opened. God 
the only author of our sanctification and holiness. And that as the God of 
peace. Sanctification described. A diligent inquiry into the nature where- 
of, with that of holiness, proved necessary. Sanctification twofold: 1. By 
external dedication ; 2. By internal purification. Holiness peculiar to the 
gospel and its truth. Not discernible to the eye of carnal reason. Hardly 
understood by believers themselves. It passeth over into eternity. Hath in 
it a present glory. Is all that God requireth of us, and in what sense. Pro- 
mised unto us. How we are to improve the command for holiness 429 




Sanctification described. With the nature of the work of the Holy Spirit there- 
in ; which is progressive. The way and means whereby holiness is increased 
in believers ; especially by faith and love, whose exercise is required in 
all duties of obedience : as, also, those graces whose exercise is occasional. 
The growth of holiness expressed in an allusion unto that of plants, with an 
insensible progress. Renders grace therein to be greatly admired ; and is dis- 
cerned in the answerableness of the work of the Spirit in sanctification and 
supplication. Objections against the progressive nature of holiness removed 453 



Believers the only subject of the work of sanctification. How men come to be- 
lieve, if believers alone receive the Spirit of sanctification. The principal 
ends for which the Spirit is promised, with their order in their accomplish- 
ment. Rules to be observed in praying for the Spirit of God, and his opera- 
rations therein. That belivers only are sanctified or holy, proved and con- 
firmed. Mistakes about holiness, both notional and practical, discovered. 
The proper subject of holiness in believers 479 



Purification the first proper notion of sanctification. Institution of baptism con- 
firming the same apprehension. A spiritual defilement and pollution in sin. 
The nature of that defilement, or wherein it doth consist. Depravations of 
nature and acts with respect unto God's holiness, how and why called filth 
and pollution. Twofold pravity and defilement of sin. Its aggravations. 
We cannot purge it of ourselves ; nor could it be done by the law, nor by 
any ways invented by men for that end 499 



Purification of the filth of sin, the first part of sanctification, how it is efFected. 
The work of the Spirit therein. Efficacy of the blood of Christ to that pur- 
pose. The blood of his sacrifice intended. How that blood cleanseth sin. 
Application unto it, and application of it, by the Spirit. Wherein that appli- 
cation consists. Faith the instrumental cause of our purification, with the 
use of afflictions to the same purpose. Necessity of a due consideration of 
the pollution of sin. Considerations of the pollution and purification of sin 
practically huproved. Various directions for a due application unto the 
blood of Christ for cleansing. Sundry degrees of shamelessness in sinning. 
Directions for the cleansing of sin continued. Thankfulness for the cleans- 
ing of sin. With other uses of the same consideration. Union with Christ 
how consistent with the remainders of sin. Frohi ;il that, differences be- 
tween evangelical holiness and the old nature asserted 516 





1 Cor. xii. 1. opened. TIvevfiaTiita, spiritual gifts. Their grant unto, use, 
and abuse, in that church. Jesus, how called Anathema ; impiety of the 
Jews. How called Lord. The foundation of church-order and worship. 
In what sense we are enablea' by the Spirit to call Jesus Lord. The 
Holy Spirit the author of all gifts; why called God, and the Lord. 
Ge?ieral distribution of spiritual gifts. Proper end of their communica- 
tion. Nine sorts of gifts ; abuse of them in the church. Their tendency 
unto peace and order. General design of the ensuing discourse con- 
cerning the Spirit and his dispensation. Importance of the doctrine con- 
cerning the Spirit of God, and his operations. Reasons hereof. Promise 
of the Spirit to supply the absence of Christ, as to his human nature. 
Concernment thereof. Work of the Spirit in the ministration of the 
gospel. All saving good communicated unto us, and wrought in us, by 
him. Sin against the Holy Ghost irremissible. False pretences unto 
the Spirit dangerous. Pretences unto the spirit of prophecy under the 
Old Testament. Two sorts of false prophets: the first ; the second sort. 
Pretenders under the New Testament. The rule for the trial of such pre- 
tenders, 1 John iv. 1 — 3. Rides to this purpose under the Old and New 
Testament compared. A false spirit set up against the Spirit of God, 
examined. False and noxious opinions concerning the Spirit, and how 
to be obviated. Reproaches of the Spirit and his work. Principles and 
occasions of the apostacy of churches under the law and gospel. Dis- 
pensation of the Spirit not confined to the first ages of the church. The 
great necessity of a diligent inquiry into the things taught, concerning 
the Spirit of God and his work. 

jL he Apostle Paul, in the twelfth chapter of his First Epistle 
to the Corinthians, directs their exercise of spiritual gifts ; 
concerning which, amongst other things and emergencies, 
they had made inquiry of him. This, the first words, where- 
with he prefaceth his whole discourse, declare, ver. 1. ' Now 



concerning spiritual gifts ;* trtp\ Se rwv Trvevpa-iniov ; that is, 
\api<rpa.TO)v, as his ensuing declaration doth evince. And 
the imagination of some concerning spiritual persons to be 
here intended, contrary to the sense of all the ancients, is 
inconsistent with the context*. For as it was about spiritual 
gifts, and their exercise, that the church had consulted with 
him ; so the whole series of his ensuing discourse is directive 
therein. And therefore in the close of it, contracting the 
design of the whole, he doth it in that advice, £?]Aoure Se to. 
Xapia/jLara ra Kpurrova, * covet the best gifts ;' namely, among 
those which he proposed to treat of, and had done so ac- 
cordingly, ver. 31. The ra irvevpaTiKa of ver. 1. are the to. 
\api(TfxaTa of ver. 31. as it is expressed, chap. xiv. 1. £rjAowre 
$e to. 7rv£vp.aTLKa ; that is, ^apiapaTa, ' desire spiritual gifts ;' 
whose nature and use you are now instructed in, as it first 
was proposed. Of these that church had received an abun- 
dant measure, especially of those that were extraordinary, 
and tended to the conviction of unbelievers. For the ' Lord 
having much people in that city,' whom he intended to call 
to the faith (Acts xviii. 9, 10.), not only encouraged our 
apostle against all fears and dangers to begin and carry on 
the work of preaching there, wherein he continued a year 
and six months (ver. 11.); but also furnished the first converts 
with such eminent, and some of them such miraculous gifts, 
as might be a prevalent means to the conversion of many 
others. For he will never be wanting to provide instruments 
and suitable means for the effectual attaining of any end 
that he aimeth at. In the use, exercise, and management, of 
these ' spiritual gifts,' that church, or sundry of the prin- 
cipal members of it, had fallen into manifold disorders ; and 
abused them unto the matter of emulation and ambition, 
wherein other evils did ensue b ; as the best of God's gifts 
may be abused by the lusts of men, and the purest water 
may be tainted by the earthen vessels whereinto it is poured. 
Upon the information of some, who, loving truth, peace, and 
order, were troubled at these miscarriages, chap. i. 11. and 

a TIVBV[/.a.Tix,a., Ta o-n^ita ■A.a'Km, on ravra ipya roZ TrvEu/ocaroj fjkiwv, oiiSev dvS'foiTO'ivHj 
iWEia-ift^ovc-yig tr&iwlnt; ei; to ra roiavra SavparovpytTv. Chrysost. in loc. So also 
Anibros. and Theophylact. in loc. 

b XagiVjuartt Je £ij£0v o\ fxh i\arrova oi Je ttXeiV Kal rouro oitiov 0-^lo-fA.arot; ai/roTt; 
iyEVETO ; ov Trapa rov oiKEiaV <f>uB-iv, aXKa <Bra.fi. ayvaif/.os-vmv rwV EiXixfoToav. OIte yaf Ta 
(Aiityva. e'p^ovtej I'&rigQVTo Kara. rSiv ra \\arrma nex.rny.ivcmv, Ovrot Se av lua.'Kiv ri'Kyovv, 
hu) toij ra jttsi^ov* Ej^oue-iv i^&ovoof. Chrysost. in loc. 


in answer unto a letter of the whole church written unto him 
about these and other occurrences, chap. vii. 1, he gives 
them counsel and advice for the rectifying of these abuses. 
And first, to prepare them aright with humility and thank- 
fulness becoming them who were intrusted with such excel- 
lent privileges as they had abused, and without which they 
could not receive the instruction which he intended them, 
he mindeth them of their former state and condition before 
their calling and conversion to Christ, ver. 2. ' You know 
that you were Gentiles, carried away with dumb idols, even 
as you were led;' iog av iiytoQe airayofizvoi, hurried with 
violent impressions from the devil, into the service of idols. 
This he mentions not to reproach them, but to let them 
know what frame of mind, and what fruit of life, might be 
justly expected from them, who had received such an altera- 
tion in their condition . Particularly, as he elsewhere tells 
them, • If they had not made themselves to differ from 
others ;' if they had ' nothing but what they had received,' 
they should not boast nor exalt themselves above others, 
as though they had not received ; chap. iv. 7. For it is a 
vain thing for a man to boast in himself of what he hath 
freely received of another, and never deserved so to receive 
it ; as it is with all who have received either gifts or grace 
from God. 

This alteration of their state and condition he farther de- 
clares unto them by the effects, and author of it, ver. 3 : 
' Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking 
by the Spirit of God, calleth Jesus accursed ; and that no 
man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.' 
The great difference which was then in the world, was con- 
cerning Jesus who was preached unto them all. Unbelievers, 
who were still carried with an impetus of mind and affections 
after * dumb idols,' being led and acted therein by the spirit 
of the devil, blasphemed, and said Jesus was anathema, or 
one accursed. They looked on him as a person to be detested 
and abominated as the common odium of their gods and men. 
Hence on the mention of him, they used to say, ' Jesus ana- 
thema,' 'he is,' or 'let him be, accursed,' detested, destroyed. 

c Spiritualia illis traditurus, exemplum prions conversation's meraorat ; ut simula- 
crorum fuerunt forma colentes idola, et ducebantur duce voluntate daeraoniorum ; ita 
et colentes deuro sint forma legis dominicae. Ambros. in loc. 

B 2 


And in this blasphemy do the Jews continue to this day, 
hiding their cursed sentiments under a corrupt pronunciation 
of his name. For instead of yittf', they write and call him 
W>, the initial letters of i"on M2W rTO> ; that is, ' Let his name 
and memory be blotted out;' the same with 'Jesus anathema.' 
And this blasphemy of pronouncing Jesus accursed, was 
that wherewith the first persecutors of the church tried the 
faith of Christians, as Pliny in his epistle to Trajan, and 
Justin Martyr, with other apologists agree. And as the 
apostle says, those who did thus, ' did not so by the Spirit 
of God ;' so he intends that they did it by the acting and 
instigation of the devil, the unclean spirit, which ruled in 
those children of disobedience. And this was the condition 
of these Corinthians themselves to whom he wrote, whilst 
they also were carried away after ' dumb idols.,' On the 
other side, those that believed called Jesus ' Lord/ or pro- 
fessed that he was the Lord, and thereby avowed their faith 
in him and obedience unto him. Principally they owned 
him to be Jehovah, the Lord, over all God blessed for ever. 
For the name niiT is every where in the New Testament ex- 
pressed by Kvpiog, here used. He who thus professeth Jesus 
to be the Lord, in the first place, acknowledged him to be 
the true God. And then they professed him therewithal, to 
be their Lord, the Lord of their souls and consciences, unto 
whom they owed all subjection, and performed all obedience, 
as Thomas did in his great confession, ' My Lord, and my 
God ;' John xx. 28. Now as he had before intimated that 
those who disowned him and called him accursed, did speak 
by the instinct and instigation of the devil by whom they 
were acted ; so he lets them know, on the other hand, that 
no man can thus own and confess Jesus to be the Lord, but 
by the Holy Ghost. But it may be said, that some acted by 
the unclean spirit confessed Christ to be the Lord. So did 
the man in the synagogue, who cried out, ' I know thee 
who thou art, the Holy One of God ;' Mark i. 23, 24. And 
ver] 34. He ' suffered not the devils to speak, because they 
knew him.' And the damsel possessed with a spirit of 
divination, cried after the apostle, saying, ' These men are 
the servants of the Most High God;' Acts xvi. 17. So also 
did the man who abode in the tombs, possessed with an un- 
clean spirit, who cried out unto him, ' What have I to do 


with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God;' Mark v. 7. 
And other testimonies to the like purpose among the heathen, 
and from their oracles, might be produced. Ans. 1. Our 
apostle speaks of such a saying of Jesus to be Lord, as is 
accompanied with faith in him, and subjection of soul unto 
him, which is from the Holy Ghost alone. Thus none acted 
by the unclean spirit can call him Lord. 2. These acknow- 
ledgments were either, (1.) wrested from the devil, and were 
no small part of his punishment and torment; or, (2.) were 
designed by him with an intention to prejudice the glory of 
Christ, by his testimony, who was a liar from the beginning. 

Malus bonum cum simulat, tunc est pessimus. 

These things therefore can have here no place d . Hereby 
then the apostle informs them wherein the foundation of all 
church relation, order, and worship, did consist. For where- 
as they had all respect unto the Lordship of Christ, and their 
acknowledgment thereof, this was not from themselves, but 
was a pure effect of the operation of the Holy Ghost in 
them, and towards them. And any thing of the like kind, 
which doth not proceed from the same cause and fountain, 
is of no use to the glory of God, nor of any advantage unto 
the souls of men. 

Some think, that this saying of Jesus to be the Lord, is 
to be restrained unto the manner of speaking afterward in- 
sisted on e . For the apostle in the following verses treateth 
of those extraordinary gifts, which many in that church 
were then endowed withal. None can, saithhe, say 'Jesus 
is the Lord,' in an extraordinary manner, with divers tongues, 
and in prophecy, but by the Holy Ghost. Without his 
especial assistance, none can eminently and miraculously 
declare him so to be. And, if this be so, it is likely that 
those before intended, who said Jesus was accursed, were 
some persons pretending to be acted, or really acted, by an 
extraordinary spirit, which the apostle declares not to be 
the Spirit of God. And so Chrysostom interprets those 
words of them who were visibly and violently acted by the 
devil. Many such instruments of his malice, did Satan stir 

d Ti oSv, ouSeij tiaipcov ovofxal^ei tov ©eov ; ouj^i oi Sai^svi^ovTEj tteyov otSa/xiv trg «{ u o 
w'of rou Qtov ; ouyi TlavXai eXej/gv oZroi oi a&^wTtQi ScDXoi tou Qtou tov l^ia-rov si0"iv ; aXXa 
/na8-Ti(o|UEVoi, a\\a avayKa^ofjavoi ; exo'vtej Se koX fxh [xa.iniyoiy.iyoi, ovSapov. Chrysost. 
in be. e Crel. de Sp. S. Prolegom. p. 29—31. 


up in those days, to preserve, if it were possible, his totter- 
ing kingdom from ruin. But there is no necessity thus to 
restrain the words, or to affix this sense unto them. Yea, it 
seems to me to be inconsistent with the design of the apos- 
tle, and scope of the place. For intending to instruct the 
Corinthians, as was said, in the nature, use, and exercise, of 
spiritual gifts, he first lays down the spring and fountain of 
all saving profession of the gospel, which those gifts were 
designed to the furtherance and improvement of. Hereupon 
having minded them of their heathen state and condition 
before, he lets them know by what means they were brought 
into the profession of the gospel, and owning of Jesus to be 
the Lord, in opposition unto the dumb idols whom they had 
served. And this was by the author of those gifts, unto 
whose consideration he was now addressing himself. The 
great change wrought in them, as to their religion and pro- 
fession, was by the Holy Ghost. For no man can say that 
Jesus is the Lord, which is the sum and substance of our 
Christian profession, but by him; though some think he hath 
little or no concern at all in this matter. But to say Christ 
is the Lord, includes two things ; first, faith in him as Lord 
and Saviour. So was he declared and preached by the 
angels, Luke ii. 11. 'A Saviour which is Christ the Lord.' 
And this word Lord, includes as the dignity of his person, 
so his investiture with those offices which for our good this 
Lord did exercise and discharge. Secondly, the profession 
of that faith; which two, where they are sincere, do always 
accompany each other; Rom. x. 10. For as the saying of 
Jesus to be anathema, did comprise an open disclaimer and 
abrenunciation of him ; so the calling of him Lord, express- 
eth the profession of our faith in him, and subjection unto 
him. And both these are here intended to be sincere and 
saving. For that faith and profession are intended whereby 
the church is built upon the rock; the same with that of 
Peter, * Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God ;' 
Matt. xvi. 16. And that these are the works of the Holy 
Ghost, which none of themselves are sufficient for, shall, God 
assisting, be afterward abundantly declared. 

Having thus stated the original and foundation of the 
church, in its faith, profession, order, and worship, he farther 
acquaints them, that the same Spirit is* likewise the author 


of all those gifts, whereby it was to be built up and esta- 
blished, and whereby the profession of it might be enlarged, 
ver.,4. ' Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same 
Spirit.' These are the things which he intendeth to discourse 
upon, wherein he enlargeth himself in the whole ensuing 
chapter. Now because the particulars here insisted on 
by him in the beginning of his discourse, will all of them 
occur unto us, and be called over again in their proper 
places, I shall only point unto the heads of the discourse, 
in the verses preceding the eleventh, which we principally 
aim at. 

Treating, therefore, 7repi rwv TrvEUjuantcwv, ' of these spiritual 
things or gifts' in the church, he first declares their author, 
from whom they come, and by whom they are wrought and 
bestowed. Him he calls the 'Spirit;' ver. 4. the 'Lord;' 
ver. 5. ' God ;' ver. 6. And to denote the oneness of their 
author, notwithstanding the diversity of the things them- 
selves, he calls him the same Spirit, the same Lord, the same 
God. The words may be understood two ways ; first, that 
the whole Trinity, and each person distinctly, should be in- 
tended in them. For consider the immediate operator of 
these gifts, and it is the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, ver. 4. 
Consider them as to their procurement, and immediate au- 
thoritative collation, and so they are from Christ, the Son, 
the Lord, ver. 5. But as to their first original and fountain, 
they are from God, even the Father, ver. 6. And all these 
are one and the same. But rather the Spirit alone is in- 
tended, and hath this three-fold denomination given unto 
him; for as he is particularly denoted by the name of the 
Spirit, which he useth that we may know whom it is that 
eminently he intendeth, so he calls him both Lord and God, 
as to manifest his sovereign authority in all his works and 
administrations : so to ingenerate a due reverence in their 
hearts towards him with whom they had to do in this mat- 
ter. And no more is intended in these three verses, but 
what is summed up, ver. 11. ' But all these worketh that 
one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally 
as he will.' 

Secondly, With respect unto their general nature, the 
apostle distributes them into * gifts,' ^a^iafxara, ver. 4. ' ad- 
ministrations/ SutKoviai, ver. 5. 'operations/ tvepyi'ifiara, ver. 6. 


which division, with the reasons of it, will in our progress 
be farther cleared. 

Thirdly, He declares the general end of the Spirit of God, 
in the communication of them, and the use of them in the 
church, ver. 7. ' But the manifestation of the Spirit is given 
unto every man to profit withal ;' <j>avtpii)<iiQ tov Trvevfiarog ; Syr. 
7V1)1 xybs, the 'revelation of the Spirit;' that is, the gifts 
whereby, and in whose exercise, he manifests and reveals his 
own presence, power, and effectual operation. And the 
Spirit of God hath no other aim in granting these his en- 
lightening gifts, wherein he manifests his care of the church, 
and declares the things of the gospel unto any man, but that 
they should be used to the profit, advantage, and edification, 
of others. They are not bestowed on men, to make their 
secular gain or advantage by them, in riches, honour, or 
reputation, for which ends Simon the magician would have 
purchased them with his money, Acts viii. 19. No, nor yet 
merely for the good and benefit of the souls of them that do 
receive them, but for the edification of the church, and the fur- 
therance of faith and profession in others. Upbg to avfx^ipov ; 
'ad id quod expedit, prodest;' ' for that which is expedient, 
useful, profitable,' namely, to ..lie church; 1 Gor. vi. 12. 
x. 23. 2 Cor. viii. 10. Thus was the foundation of the first 
churches of the gospel laid by the Holy Ghost, and thus was 
the work of their building unto perfection, carried on by 
him. How far present churches do, or ought to, stand on 
the same bottom, how far they are carried on upon the same 
principles, is worth our inquiry, and will in its proper place 
fall under our consideration. 

Fourthly, The apostle distributes the spiritual gifts then 
bestowed on the church, or some members of it, into nine 
particular heads or instances. As, 1. Wisdom. 2. Know- 
ledge, ver. 8 ; or the word of wisdom, and the word of know- 
ledge. 3. Faith. 4. Healing, ver. 9. 5. "Working of mi- 
racles. 6. Prophecy. 7. Discerning of spirits. 8. Kinds 
of tongues. 9. Interpretation of tongues, ver. 10. And 
all these were extraordinary gifts, in the manner of the com- 
munication and exercise, which related unto the then present 
state of the church. What is yet continued analogous unto 
them, or holding proportion with them, must be farther in- 
quired into ; when also their especial nature will be unfolded. 


But now if there be that great diversity of gifts in the 
church f , if so much difference in their administrations, how 
can it possibly be prevented but that differences and divi- 
sions will arise amongst them on whom they are bestowed, 
and those amongst whom they are exercised? It is true, 
this may so fall out and sometimes doth so, and de facto, it 
did so in this church of Corinth. One admired one gift, a 
second another of a different kind, and so the third. Ac- 
cordingly, among those who had received them, one boasted 
of this or that particular gift and ability, and would be con- 
tinually in its exercise to the exclusion and contempt of 
others, bestowed no less for the edification of the church 
than his own. And so far were they transported with vain- 
glory, and a-desire of self-advancement, as that they preferred 
the use of those gifts in the church, which tended principally 
to beget astonishment and admiration in them which heard or 
beheld them, before those which were peculiarly useful unto 
the edification of the church itself; which evil in particular 
the apostle rebukes at large, chap. xiv. By this means 
the church came to be divided in itself, and almost to be 
broken in pieces, chap. i. 11, 12. So foolish oft-times are the 
minds of men ; so liable to «-^ imposed upon; so common is 
it for their lusts, seduced and principled by the crafts of 
Satan, to turn judgment into wormwood, and to abuse the 
most useful effects of divine grace and bounty. To prevent 
all these evils for the future, and to manifest how perfect a 
harmony there is in all these divers gifts and different ad- 
ministrations, at what an agreement they are among them- 
selves in their tendency unto the same ends of the union and 
edification of the church, from what fountain of wisdom 
they do proceed, and with what care they ought to be used 
and improved; the apostle declares unto them both the 
author of them, and the rule he proceedeth by in their dis- 
pensation; ver. 11. 'All these,' saith he g , ' worketh that 
one and self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally 
as he will.' 

I shall not at present farther open or insist upon these 

f Ex hoc capite et proximo licet conjicere qu£e faerint dotes illius veteris ecclesiee 
Christians, priusquam tot cerenioniis, opibus, imperiis, copiis, bellis aliisque id genus 
esset onerata. Nunc fere tot praeclara mania ad unani potestatem redacta sunt: 
h. e. Christi titulo palliatara Tyrannideni. Quid enirn aliud est potestas nisi adsit 
animus Apostolicus? Erasm. Annot. ad. v. 4. 

t ' Airoc-reXXcTcu /uev olxwofjuxzc, Ivs.-^e" Jt airi^ovfix;. Basil. Homil. 15. fide de. 


words. Frequent recourse must be had unto them in our 
progress, wherein they will be fully explicated as to what 
concerns the person of the Spirit, his will, and his operations, 
which are all asserted in them. For my purpose is, through 
the permission and assistance of God, to treat from hence of 
the name, nature, existence, and whole work of the Holy 
Spirit, with the grace of God through Jesus Christ in the 
communication of him unto the sons of men. A work in it- 
self too great and difficult for me to undertake, and beyond 
my ability to manage unto the glory of God, or the edifica- 
tion of the souls of them that do believe. For * who is suf- 
ficient for these things V But yet I dare not utterly faint in 
it, nor under it, whilst I look unto him whose work it is, 
who ' giveth wisdom to them that lack it, and upbraideth them 
not;' Jam. i. 5. Our eyes, therefore, are unto him alone, 
who ' both supplieth seed to the sower,' and when he hath 
done, ' blesseth it with an increase." The present necessity, 
importance, and usefulness, of this work, are the things which 
alone have engaged me into the undertaking of it. These, 
therefore, I shall briefly represent in some general considera- 
tions, before I insist on the things themselves, whose espe- 
cial explanation is designed. 

First, then, we may consider, That the doctrine of the 
Spirit of God, his work, and grace, is the second great head or 
principle of those gospel-truths wherein the glory of God, and 
the good of the souls of men, are most eminently concerned. 
And such also it is, that without it, without the knowledge 
of it in its truth, and the improvement of it in its power, the 
other will be useless unto those ends. For when God de- 
signed the great and glorious work of recovering fallen man, 
and the saving of sinners to the praise of the glory of his 
grace, he appointed in his infinite wisdom two great means 
thereof. The one was the giving of his Son for them ; and 
the other was the giving of his Spirit unto them. And hereby 
was way made for the manifestation of the glory of the whole 
blessed Trinity, which is the utmost end of all the works of 
God. Hereby, were the love, grace, and wisdom of the Fa- 
ther, in the design and projection of the whole; the love, 
grace, and condescension of the Son, in the execution, pur- 
chase, and procurement, of grace and salvation for sinners ; 
with the love, grace, and power of the Holy Spirit, in the effec- 


tual application of all unto the souls of men, made gloriously 
conspicuous. Hence, from the first entrance of sin, there 
were two general heads of the promise of God unto men, 
concerning the means of their recovery and salvation. The 
one was that concerning the sending of his Son to be incar- 
nate, to take our nature upon him, and to suffer for us there- 
in ; the other concerning the giving of his Spirit, to make the 
effects and fruits of the incarnation, obedience, and suffer- 
ing, of his Son, effectual in us and towards us. To these 
heads may all the promises of God be reduced. Now be- 
cause the former was to be the foundation of the latter, that 
was first to be laid down and most insisted on until it was 
actually accomplished. Hence the great promise of the 
Old Testament, the principal object of the faith, hope, and 
expectation of believers, was that concerning the coming of 
the Son of God in the flesh, and the work which he was to 
perform. Yet was this also, as we shall see in our progress, 
accompanied with a great intermixture of promises concern- 
ing the Holy Spirit, to render his coming and work effectual 
unto us. But when once that first work was fully accom- 
plished, when the Son of God was come, and had destroyed 
the works of the devil, the principal remaining promise of 
the New Testament, the spring of all the rest, concerneth 
the sending of the Holy Spirit unto the accomplishment of 
his part of that great work which God had designed. Hence 
the Holy Ghost, the doctrine concerning his person, his work, 
his grace, is the most peculiar and principal subject of the 
Scriptures of the New Testament, and a most eminent im- 
mediate object of the faith of them that do believe. And 
this must be farther cleared, seeing we have to deal with 
some who will scarce allow him to be of any consideration 
in these matters at all. But I shall be brief in these pre- 
vious testimonies hereunto, because the whole ensuing 
discourse is designed to the demonstration of the truth of 
this assertion. 

1. It is of great moment, and sufficient of itself to main- 
tain the cause as proposed, that when our Lord Jesus Christ 
was to leave the world, he promised to send his Holy Spirit 
unto his disciples to supply his absence. Of what use the 
presence of Christ was unto his disciples we may in some 
measure conceive ; they knew full well whose hearts were 


filled with sorrow upon the mention of his leaving of them j 
John xvi. 5, 6. Designing to relieve them in this great dis- 
tress, which drew out the highest expressions of love, ten- 
derness, compassion, and care towards them, he doth it 
principally by this promise ; which he assures them shall be 
to their greater advantage than any they could receive by 
the continuance of his bodily presence amongst them. And 
to secure them hereof, as also to inform them of its great im- 
portance, he repeats it frequently unto them, and inculcates 
it upon them. Consider somewhat of what he says to this 
purpose in his last discourse with them ; John xiv. 16 — 18. 
' I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Com- 
forter, that he may abide with you for ever ; even the Spirit 
of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him 
not, neither knoweth him ; but ye know him ; for he dwell- 
eth with you and shall be in you. I will not leave you com- 
fortless, I will come unto you ;' that is, in and by this Holy 
Spirit. And ver. 25 — 27. ' These things I have spoken unto 
you, being present with you ; but the Comforter, who is the 
Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall 
teach you all things, and bring all things to your remem- 
brance, whatever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with 
you/ &c. And chap. xv. 25. ' But when the Comforter is 
come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the 
Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall 
testify of me.' And chap. xvi. 5 — 15. ' Now I go my way to 
him that sent me, and none of you asketh me, Whither goest 
thou ? But because I have said these things unto you, sor- 
row hath filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth, 
it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away 
the Comforter will not come unto you ; but if I depart I 
will send him unto you. And when he is come he will re- 
prove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. 
Of sin, because they believe not on me ; of righteousness, 
because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more ; of judg- 
ment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have 
yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them 
now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will 
guide you into all truth : for he shall not speak of himself ; 
but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak, and he shall 
shew you things to come. He shall glorify me, for he shall 


receive of mine, and he shall shew it unto you. All things 
that the Father hath are mine ; therefore said I, that he shall 
take of mine, and shew it unto you h .' This was the great 
.legacy which our Lord Jesus Christ, departing out of this 
world, bequeathed unto his sorrowful disciples. This he pro- 
miseth unto them as a sufficient relief against all their trou- 
bles, and a faithful guide in all their ways. And because 
of the importance of it unto them he frequently repeats it, 
and enlargeth upon the benefits that they should receive 
thereby ; giving them a particular account why it would be 
more advantageous unto them than his own bodily presence. 
And therefore after his resurrection he minds them again of 
this promise, commanding them to act nothing towards the 
building of the church, until it was accomplished towards 
them ; Acts i. 4, 5. 8. They would have been again embracing 
his human nature and rejoicing in it : but as he said unto 
Mary, ' Touch me not;' John xx. 17. to wean her from any 
carnal consideration of him ; so he instructs them all now to 
look after and trust unto the promise of the Holy Ghost. 
Hence is that of our apostle ; ' though we have known 
Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no 
more ;' 2 Cor. v. 16. For although it was a great privilege 
to have known Christ in this world after the flesh, yet it was 
much greater to enjoy him in the dispensation of the Spirit. 
And this was spoken by the apostle, as the ancients judge, 
to rebuke the boasting of some about their seeing the Lord 
in the flesh, who were thereon called ^(nroawoi, whom he 
directs unto a more excellent knowledge of him. It is in 
vain pretended that it was the apostles only, and it may be 
some of the primitive Christians who were concerned in this 

h Spiritus Sanctus ad hoc missus a Christo, ad hoc postulatus de Patre ut esset 
doctor veritatis, Christi vicarius. Tertul. advers. Haeret. cap. 28. 

Quoniam Dominusincaslos esset abiturus, paracletum discipulis necessario dabat, 
ne illos quodarumodo pupillos, quod minime decebat, relinqueret; et sine advocato 
et quodam tutore desereret. Hie est enim qui ipsoruiu animos mentesque firmavit, 
qui in ipsis illuminator rerum divinarum fuit ; quo confirmati, pro nomine Domini 
nee carceres nee vincula timuerunt: quin imo ipsas seculi potestates et tormenta cal- 
caverunt, armati jam scilicet per ipsum atque firmati, habentes in se dona quae hie 
idem Spiritus ecclesiae Christi sponsa, quasi quaedani ornamenta distribuit et dirigit. 
Novatian. de Trinitat. 

Totum ex Spiritus Sancti constat ducatu, quod devii diriguntur, quod impii con- 
vertuntur, quod debiles confirmantur. Spiritus rectus, Spiritus Sanctus, Spiritus 
principalis regit, componit, consummat et perficit, nostras inhabitat mentes, &c. corda 
quae possidet, nee errare patitur, nee corrunipi, nee vinci quos docuerit, quos posse- 
derit, quos gladio potentissima? veritatis accinxerit. Cyprian, de Spirit. Sauce. 


promise ; for although the Holy Ghost was bestowed on 
them in a peculiar manner, and for especial ends, yet the 
promise in general belongs unto all believers unto the end 
of the world 1 . For as to what concerns his gracious opera- 
tions, whatever the Lord Christ prayed for for them, and 
so promised unto them (as the Spirit was procured for them 
on his prayer, John xvii. 16, 17.), he ' prayed not for it, for 
them alone, but for them also which should believe on him 
through their word ;' John xvii. 20. And his promise is, to 
be ' with his always even unto the end of the world ;' Matt. 
xxviii. 20. As also, that 'wherever two or three are ga- 
thered together in his name, there he would be in the midst 
of them ;' Matt. xvii. 20. which he is no otherwise but by 
his Spirit : for as for his human nature, ' the heavens must 
receive him until the times of the restitution of all things ;' 
Acts iii. 21. And this one consideration is sufficient to 
evince the importance of the doctrine, and things which con- 
cern the Holy Spirit. For is it possible that any Christian 
should be so supinely negligent and careless, so unconcerned 
in the things whereon his present comforts and future hap- 
piness do absolutely depend, as not to think it his duty to 
inquire with the greatest care and diligence, into what our 
Lord Jesus Christ hath left unto us to supply his absence, 
and at length to bring us unto himself? He by whom these 
things are despised, hath neither part nor lot in Christ him- 
self. ' For if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is 
none of his;' Rom. viii. 9. 

2. The great work of the Holy Ghost in the dispensa- 
tion and ministration of the gospel unto all the ends of it, 
is another evidence unto the same purposed Hence the gos- 
pel itself is called the ' ministration of the Spirit/ in oppo- 
sition to that of the law, which is called the ' ministration 

1 Praesentia spirituali cum eis erat ubique futurus post ascensionem suam, et cum 
tota ecclesia sua in hoc mundo usque in consummationem seculi : — neque enim de 
solis apostolis potest intelligi, sicut dedisti ei potestatem omnia carnis, ut omne quod 
dedisti ei det eis vitam jeternam ; sed ubique de omnibus quibus in eumcredentibus 
vita aeterna datur. August. Tractat. 106. in Evangel. Johan. 

Munus hoc quod in Christo est, in consummationem seculi nobiscum ; hoc expec- 
tations nostras solatium, hoc in donorura operationibus futuraa spei pignusest; hoc 
moralium lumen, hie splendor animarum est. Hilar, lib. 2. de Trinitat. 

k Hie est qui prophetas in ecclesia constituit, magistros erudit, linguas dirigit, ver- 
tutes et sanctitates facit, opera mirabilia gerit, discretiones spirituum porrigit, guber- 
nationes conlribuit, consilia suggerit, quasque alia sunt charismatum dona componit 
et digerit; et ideo ecclesiam Domino undique et in omnibus consummatam et perfec- 
tum facit. Tertul. 


of the letter and of condemnation ;' 2 Cor. iii. 8. biaicovia tov 
■n-vevfiarog, the " ministry of the Spirit," is either that ministry 
whrbh the Spirit makes effectual ; or that ministry whereby 
the Spirit in his gifts and graces is communicated unto men. 
And this is that which gives unto the ministry of the gospel 
both its glory and its efficacy. Take away the Spirit from 
the gospel and you render it a dead letter, and leave the New 
Testament of no more use unto Christians than the Old Tes- 
tament is of unto the Jews. It is therefore a mischievous 
imagination, proceeding from ignorance, blindness, and un- 
belief, that there is no more in the gospel, but what is con- 
tained under any other doctrine or declaration of truth ; that 
it is nothing but a book for men to exercise their reason in 
and upon, and to improve the things of it by the same faculty. 
For this is to separate the Spirit, or the dispensation of the 
Spirit, from it, which is in truth to destroy it. And there- 
with is the covenant of God rejected, which is, that 'his 
word and Spirit shall go together ;' Isa. lix. 20, 21. We shall 
therefore, God assisting, manifest in our progress, that the 
whole ministry of the gospel, the whole use and efficacy of 
it, do depend on that ministration of the Spirit wherewith, 
according to the promise of God, it is accompanied. If 
therefore we have any concernment in, or have ever received 
any benefit by, the gospel or the ministration of it, we have 
a signal duty lying before us in the matter in hand. 

3. There is not any spiritual or saving good from first 
to last communicated unto us, or that we are from and by 
the grace of God made partakers of, but it is revealed to us 
and bestowed on us by the Holy Ghost. He who hath not 
an immediate and especial work of the Spirit of God upon 
him and towards him, did never receive any especial love, 
grace, or mercy, from God. For how should he do so ? What- 
ever God works in us and upon us, he doth it by his Spirit. 
He therefore who hath no work of the Spirit of God upon 
his heart, did never receive either mercy or grace from God : 
for God giveth them not but by his Spirit. A disclaimer 
therefore of any work of the Spirit of God in us or upon us, 
is a disclaimer of all interest in his grace and mercy. And 
they may do well to consider it, with whom the work of the 
Spirit of God is a reproach. When they can tell us of any 
other way whereby a man may be made partaker of mercy 


and grace, we will attend unto it; in the mean time we shall 
prove from the Scripture this to be the way of God. 

4. There is not any thing done in us or by us that is 
holy and acceptable unto God, but it is an effect of the Holy 
Spirit, it is of his operation in us and by us. ' Without him 
we can do nothing.' For without Christ we cannot ; John 
xv. 5. And by him alone is the grace of Christ communi- 
cated unto us and wrought in us. By him we are regenerated 1 ; 
by him we are sanctified ; by him we are cleansed ; by him 
are we assisted in and unto every good work. Particular 
instances to this purpose will be afterward insisted on, and 
proved. And it is our unquestionable concernment to in- 
quire into the cause and spring of all that is good in us, 
wherein also we shall have a true discovery of the spring and 
cause of all that is evil ; without a competent knowledge of 
both which, we can do nothing as we ought. 

5. God lets us know that the only peculiarly remediless 
sin and way of sinning under the gospel, is to sin in an espe- 
cial manner against the Holy Ghost. And this of itself is 
sufficient to convince us how needful it is for us to be well 
instructed in what concerns him. For there is somewhat 
that doth so, which is accompanied with irrecoverable and 
eternal ruin. And so is nothing else in the world. So Mark 
iii. 28, 29. ' All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, 
and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme ; but 
he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, hath never 
forgiveness.' Or, ' he that speaketh against the Holy Ghost, 
it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the 
world to come ;' Matt. xii. 32. There remains nothing for 
him who doth despite to the Spirit of grace, but a ' certain 
fearful looking-for of judgment and fiery indignation, that 
shall devour the adversaries;' Heb. x. 27, 29. This is that 
'sin unto death,' whose remission is not to be prayed for; 
1 John v. 16. For he having taken upon him to make effec- 
tual unto us the great remedy provided in the blood of Christ 
for the pardon of our sins, if he in the prosecution of that 

1 Hie est qui operatur ex aquis, secundam nativitatera, semen quoddam divini 
generis, et consecratorcslestis nativilatis ; pignus promissae haereditatis et quasi chi- 
rographum quoddam seternaj salutis ; qui nos Dei faciat lemplum ct nos efficiat do- 
mum, qui interpellat divinas aures pro nobis gemitibus ineloqaacibus, advocationis 
officia, et defensionis exhibens munera, inhabitator corporibus nostris ductus, et 
sanctitatis effector ; hie est qui inexplebiles cupiditates coercet, &c. Novat. de Trinitat. 


work be despised, blasphemed, despitefully used, there nei- 
ther is relief, nor can there be pardon for that sin. For 
whence in that case should they arise or spring? as God hath 
not another Son to offer another sacrifice for sin, so that he 
by whom his sacrifice is despised can have none remaining 
for him ; no more hath he another Spirit to make that sacri- 
fice effectual unto us, if the Holy Ghost in his work be de- 
spised and rejected. This therefore is a tender place" 1 . We 
cannot use too much holy diligence in our inquiries after 
what God hath revealed in his word concerning his Spirit 
and his work ; seeing there may be so fatal a miscarriage in 
an opposition unto him, as the nature of man is incapable of 
in any other instance. 

And these considerations belong unto the first head of 
reasons of the importance, use, and necessity, of the doctrine 
proposed to be inquired into. They are enough to manifest 
what is the concernment of all believers herein. For on the 
account of these things the Scripture plainly declares, as we 
observed before, ' that he who hath not the Spirit of Christ 
is none of his ;' their portion is not in him, they shall have 
no benefit by his mediation. Men may please themselves 
with a profession of being Christians and owning the gospel, 
whilst they despise the Spirit of God both name and thing. 
Their condition we shall examine and judge by the Scripture 
before we come to the end of this discourse. And for the 
Scripture itself, whoever reads the books of the New Testa- 
ment, besides the great and precious promises that are given 
concerning him in the Old, will find and conclude, unless he 
be prepossessed with prejudice, that the whole of what is 
declared in those writings, turns on this only hinge. Re- 
move from them the consideration of the Spirit of God and 
his work, and it will be hard to find out what they aim at or 
tend unto. 

Secondly, The great deceit and abuse that hath been in 
all ages of the church under the pretence of the name and 

m Omnibus quidem quae divina sunt cum revercntia etvehementi cura oportet in- 
tendere, niaxime autem his quae de Spiritus Sancti divinitatedicuntur.prassertim cum 
blasphemia in eum sine venia sit; ita ut blasphemantis poena tendatur r.on solum in 
omne prassens seculum, sed etiam in futurum. Ait quippe salvator, blasphemanti in 
Spiritum Sanctum non esse remissionem, ncque in isto seculo neque in futuro : unde 
magis ac magis intendere oportet quae Scripturarum de eo sit relatio ne in aliquein, 
saltern per ignorantiam, blasphemiae error obrepat. Didjm. de Spir. Sanct. lib. 1. 
Interpret. Hieron. 



work of the Spirit, make the thorough consideration of what 
we are taught concerning them, exceeding necessary. Had 
not these things been excellent in themselves, and so ac- 
knowledged by all Christians, they would never have been by 
so many falsely pretended unto. Men do not seek to adorn 
themselves with rags, or to boast of what on its own account 
is under just contempt. And according to the worth of things 
so are they liable to abuse. And the more excellent any 
thing is, the more vile and pernicious is an undue pretence 
unto it. Such have been the false pretences of some in all 
ages unto the Spirit of God and his work, whose real excel- 
lences in themselves, have made those pretences abominable 
and unspeakably dangerous. For the better the things are 
which are counterfeited, the worse always are the ends they 
are employed unto. In the whole world there is nothing so 
vile as that which pretendeth to be God, and is not 5 nor is 
any other thing capable of so pernicious an abuse. Some 
instances hereof I shall give both out of the Old Testament 
and the New. 

The most signal gift of the Spirit of God for the use of 
the church under the Old Testament, was that of prophecy. 
This therefore was deservedly in honour and reputation ; as 
having a great impression of the authority of God upon it, 
and in it of his nearness unto man. Besides, those in whom 
it was, had justly the conduct of the minds and consciences 
of others given up unto them. For they spake in the name 
of God, and had his warranty for what they proposed, which 
is the highest security of obedience. And these things 
caused many to pretend unto this gift, who were indeed ne- 
ver inspired by the Holy Spirit, but were rather on the con- 
trary acted by a spirit of lying and uncleanness. For it is 
very probable, that when men falsely and in mere pretence 
took upon them to be prophets divinely inspired, without 
any antecedent diabolical enthusiasm, that the devil made 
use of them to compass his own designs. Being given up by 
the righteous judgment of God unto all delusions, for bely- 
ing his Spirit and holy inspirations, they were quickly pos- 
sessed with a spirit of lying and unclean divination. So the 
false prophets of Ahab, who encouraged him to go up unto 
Ramoth Gilead, foretelling his prosperous success, 1 Kings 
xxii. 6. seemed only to have complied deceitfully with the 


inclinations of their master, and to have out-acted his other 
courtiers in flattery, by gilding it with a pretence of pro- 
phecy. But when Micaiah came to lay open the mystery of 
their iniquity, it appeared that a lying spirit by the permis- 
sion of God had possessed their minds, and gave them im- 
pressions, which being supernatural, they were deceived as 
well as they did deceive, ver. 21 — 23. This they were justly 
given up unto, pretending falsely unto the inspiration of that 
Holy Spirit, which they had not received. And no other- 
wise hath it fallen out with some in our days, whom we 
have seen visibly acted by an extraordinary power ; unduly 
pretending unto supernatural agitations from God, they were 
really acted by the devil, a thing they neither desired nor 
looked after ; but being surprised by it were pleased with 
it for a while ; as it was with sundry of the Quakers at their 
first appearance. 

Now these false prophets of old were of two sorts, both 
mentioned, Deut. xviii. 20. First, Such as professedly served 
other gods, directing all their prophetic actings unto the 
promotion of their worship. Such were the prophets of 
Baal, in whose name expressly they prophesied, and whose 
assistance they invocated : ' They called on the name of Baal, 
saying, O Baal hear us ;' 1 Kings xviii. 26 — 28. Many of 
these were slain by Elijah, and the whole race of them af- 
terward extirpated by Jehu ; 2 Kings x. 25 — 28. This put an 
end to his deity, for it is said, ' he destroyed Baal out of 
Israel ;' false gods having no existence but in the deceived 
minds of their worshippers. It may be asked why these are 
called prophets ? and so in general of all the false prophets 
mentioned in the Scripture. Was it because they merely 
pretended and counterfeited a spirit of prophecy, or had 
they really any such? I answer, that I no way doubt, but 
that they were of both s(5rts. These prophets of Baal were 
such as worshipped the sun, after the manner of the Tyrians. 
Herein they invented many hellish mysteries, ceremonies, 
and sacrifices; these they taught the people, by whom they 
were hired. Being thus engaged in the service of the devil, 
he actually possessed their minds 'as a spirit of divination,' 
and enabled them to declare things unknown unto other 
men. They in the mean time really finding themselves acted 
by a power superior to them, took and owned that to be the 

c 2 


power of their god; and thereby became immediate wor- 
shippers of the devil. This our apostle declares, 1 Cor. 
x. 20. Whatever those who left the true God aimed at to 
worship, the devil interposed himself between that and 
them as the object of their adoration. Hereby he became 
the ' god of this world ;' 2 Cor. iv. 4. Him whom in all 
their idols they worshipped and adored. With a spirit 
of divination from him were many of the false prophets 
acted, which they thought to be the spirit of their god. 
For they found themselves acted by a superior power, which 
they could neither excuse nor resist". Others of them were 
mere pretenders and counterfeits, that deceived the foolish 
multitude with vain false predictions. Of these more will be 
spoken afterward. 

Secondly, Others there were, who spake in the name, and 
as they falsely professed, by the inspiration, of the Spirit of 
the Holy God. With this sort of men Jeremiah had great 
contests. For in that apostatizing age of the church, they 
had got such an interest and reputation among the rulers 
and people, as not only to confront his prophecies with 
contrary predictions, chap, xxviii. 2 — 4. but also to traduce 
him as a false prophet, and to urge his punishment accord- 
ing to the law, chap. xxix. 25- — 27. And with the like 
confidence did Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah carry it to- 
wards Micaiah, 1 Kings xxii. 26. for he scornfully asks 
him, ' Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to 
speak unto thee;' that is, whereas assuredly he speaketh in 
me, how came he to inspire thee with a contrary revelation? 
Ezekiel, at the same time with Jeremiah, was exercised and 
perplexed with them, chap. xiii. and xiv. For this sort of 
persons, namely, false pretenders unto divine extraordinary 
revelations, did of old usually abound in times of danger 
and approaching desolations. The devil stirred them up to 
fill men with vain hopes, to keep them in sin and security, 
that destruction might seize upon them at unawares. And 
whoever takes the same course in the time of deserved 
threatened impendent judgments, though they use not the 

n 'Ewei^av yap riKtrciig Tf<n Kcu fxayyavtlaig xarefaos Za.lfjt.wa. rig i\g aiiSrg&irov, xal 
ly.avT£vtto exe~vog, x.al fA.avrevifji.Bvog ippc57TET0, xai ta-TrapdrTBro, xal iveyxM rev Zaiuovog 
-rijv 6py.r,v oZx hZi/varo d\\' EjOtEXXE Star<mifA,lvog ovrcng aitoXhvoSai, Tat? to. TOiauroig t« 
fx.ayyaveovo-1 <pnfi 

Au3"aT£ Xoiwav avaxra Qporlg Qeov oix eti Xaipi'i. Clirysost. ill 1 Cor. xii. 


same means, yet they also do the work of the devil. For 
whatever encourageth men to be secure in their sins, is a 
false divination ; Jer. v. 30, 31. And this sort of men is 
characterized by the prophet Jeremiah, chap, xxiii. from 
ver. 9, to 33. where any one may read their sin and judg- 
ment. And yet this false pretending unto the spirit of 
prophecy, was very far from casting any contempt on the 
real gift of the Holy Ghost therein; nay, it gave it the 
greater glory and lustre. God never more honoured his true 
prophets, than when there were most false ones. Neither 
shall ever any false pretence to the Spirit of grace render 
him less dear unto those that are partakers of him, or his 
gifts of less use unto the church. 

It was thus also under the New Testament at the first 
preaching of the gospel. The doctrine of it at first was de- 
clared from the immediate revelation of the Spirit ; preached 
by the assistance of the Spirit; made effectual by his work 
and power; was accompanied in many by outward miracu- 
lous works and effects of the Spirit ; whence the whole of 
what peculiarly belonged unto it in opposition to the law, 
was called the ' ministration of the Spirit.' These things 
being owned and acknowledged by all, those who had any 
false opinions or dotages of their own to broach, or any 
other deceit to put upon Christians, could think of no more 
expedite means for the compassing of their ends, than by 
pretending to immediate revelations of the Spirit. For 
without some kind of credibility given them from hence, 
they knew that their fond imaginations would not be taken 
into the least consideration. Hence the apostle Peter, hav- 
ing treated concerning the revelation of God by his Spirit 
in prophecy under the Old Testament and the New, 2 Epist. 
chap. i. 17 — 21. adds as an inference from that discourse, 
a comparison between the false prophets that were under 
the Old Testament, and the false teachers under the 
New; chap. ii. 1. ' But there were false prophets also 
among the people, even as there shall be false teachers 
among you.' And the reason of it is, because that as they 
pretended to the Spirit of the Lord in their prophecies, 
saying, ' Thus saith the Lord,' when he sent them not ; so 
these ascribed all their abominable heresies to the inspira- 
tion of the Spirit, by whom they were not assisted. 


Hence is that blessed caution and rule given us by the 
apostle John, who lived to see much mischief done in the 
church by this pretence ; 1 Epist. chap. iv. 1,2. ' Beloved, 
believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are 
of God, because many false, prophets are gone out into the 
world. Hereby know we the Spirit of God ; every spirit that 
confesseth that Jesus is come in the flesh, is of God ; and every 
spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the 
flesh, is not of God/ A two-fold direction doth the apostle 
here give unto all believers. The first by the way of caution, 
that they would not believe every spirit; that is, not receive 
or give credit to every doctrine that was proposed unto them 
as of immediate revelation and inspiration of the Spirit. He 
intends the same with the apostle Paul; Eph. iv. 14. who 
would not have us carried about with every wind of doc- 
trine, like vessels at sea without anchor or helms, by the 
' sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in 
wait to deceive.' For the craft and sleights intended, are 
such as men use when they cast a mist, as it were, before the 
eyes of others whom they intend to cheat and defraud. So 
dealt false teachers with their disciples, by their pretences 
of immediate revelations. His next direction informs us 
how we may observe this caution unto our advantage, and 
this is by trying the spirits themselves. This is the duty of 
all believers on any such pretences. They are to try these 
spirits, and examine whether they are of God or no. For 
the observation of this rule, and discharge of this duty, the 
church of Ephesus is commended by our Lord Jesus Christ ; 
Rev. ii. 2. ' Thou hast tried them, which say they are apos- 
tles and are not, and hast found them liars.' For those who 
said they were apostles, pretended therewithal to apostolical 
authority and infallibility, on the account of the immediate 
inspirations which they received by the Holy Ghost. In 
trying them, they tried the spirits that came unto them. 
And by this warrant may we try the spirit of the church of 
Rome, which in like manner pretends unto apostolical au- 
thority and infallibility. 

Unto these two directions, the apostle subjoins the reason 
of the present watchfulness required unto the discharge of 
this duty. * For,' saith he, ' many false prophets are gone 
out into the world.' It is false teachers, as Peter calls them. 


c bringing in damnable heresies,' concerning whom he speaks. 
And he calleth them false prophets, partly in an allusion unto 
the false prophets under the Old Testament, with whom they 
are ranked and compared by Peter ; and partly, because as they 
fathered their prejudices on divine revelation, so these falsely 
ascribed their doctrines unto immediate divine inspiration. 
And on this account also he calleth them spirits ; ' try the 
spirits.' For as they pretended unto the Spirit of God, so indeed 
for the most part they were acted by a spirit of error, lying, 
and delusion; that is, the devil himself. And therefore I no 
way doubt, but that mostly those who made use of this plea, 
that they had their doctrines which they taught by immediate 
inspiration, did also effect other extraordinary operations or 
undiscoverable appearances of them, as lying miracles, by 
the power of that spirit whereby they were acted ; as Matt. 
xxiv. 24. Hence the apostle doth not direct us to try their 
pretensions unto inspiration, by putting them on other ex- 
traordinary works for their confirmation ; for these also they 
made a show and appearance of, and that in such a manner 
as that they were not to be detected by the generality of 
Christians ; but he gives unto all a blessed stable rule, which 
will never fail them in this case who diligently attend unto 
it. And this is to try them by the doctrine that they teach ; 
ver. 2, 3. Let their doctrine be examined by the Scriptures, 
and if it be found consonant thereunto, it may be received 
without danger unto the hearers, whatever corrupt affections 
the teachers may be influenced by. But if it be not conso- 
nant thereunto, if it keep not up a harmony in the analogy 
of faith, whatever inspiration or revelation be pleaded in its 
justification, it is to be rejected, as they also are by whom it 
is declared. This rule the apostle Paul confirms by the 
highest instance imaginable ; Gal. i. 8. ' If we, or an angel 
from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you, than that 
which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.' 
And the apostle shews, that, for our advantage in this trial 
we are to make of spirits, it is good to have a clear con- 
viction of, and a constant adherence unto, some fundamental 
principles, especially such as we have reason to think will 
be the most cunningly attacked by seducers. Thus, because 
in those days the principal design of Satan was to broach 
strange false imaginations about the person and mediation 


of Christ, endeavouring thereby to overthrow both the one 
and the other ; the apostle adviseth believers to try the 
upirits by this one fundamental principle of truth, namely, 
that ' Jesus Christ is come in the flesh ;' which contains a 
confession both of his person and mediation. This, there- 
fore, believers were to demand of all new teachers and pre- 
tenders unto spiritual revelations in the first place ; do you 
confess that ' Jesus Christ is come in the flesh ;' and if they 
immediately made not this confession, they never stood to 
consider their other pretences, but turned from them not bid- 
ding them God-speed ; 2 John vii. 10, 11. And I could easily 
manifest how many pernicious heresies were obviated in 
those days by this short confession of faith. For some of 
late (as Grotius following Socinus and Sclictingius) inter- 
preting this coming of Christ in the flesh, of his outward 
mean estate and condition, and not in the pomp and glory 
of an earthly king, do openly corrupt the text. His coming 
in the flesh, is the same with the ' Word's being made flesh ;' 
John i. 14. or, ' God being manifest in the flesh;' 1 Tim. 
iii. 16. that is, the Son of God being made  partaker of 
flesh and blood;' Heb. ii. 14. or ' taking on him the seed 
of Abraham ;' ver. 14. that is, his being ' made of a wo- 
man ;' Gal. iv. 4. or his being ' made of the seed of David 
according to the flesh ;' Rom. i. 3. His i being of the 
fathers as to the flesh ;' Rom. ix. 5. And this was directly 
opposed unto those heresies which were then risen, whose 
broachers contended that Jesus Christ was but a phantasy, an 
appearance, a manifestation, of divine love and power; deny- 
ing that the Son of God was really incarnate, as the ancients 
generally testify. And well had it been for many in our 
days had they attended unto such rules as this. But through 
a neglect of it, accompanied with an ungrounded boldness 
and curiosity, they have hearkened in other things to de- 
ceiving spirits, and have been engaged beyond a recovery, 
before they have considered that by their cogging deceits they 
have been cheated of all the principal articles of their faith; 
by which, if at first they had steadily tried and examined 
them, they might have been preserved from their snares. 

The Jews say well, that there was a double trial of pro- 
phets under the Old Testament ; the one by their doctrine, 
the other by their predictions. That by their doctrine, 


namely, whether they seduced men from the worship of the 
true God unto idolatry, belonged unto all individual persons 
of the church. Direction for this is given, Deut. xiii. 2, 3. 
' If the prophet giveth a sign or a wonder, and it come to 
pass (effect any thing by a seeming presence of an extra- 
ordinary power), and say, Let us go serve other gods, thou 
shalt not hearken unto him.' Let his signs and wonders be 
what they would the people were to try them by what they 
taught. The judgment upon predictions was left unto the 
Sanhedrim ; for which directions are given, Deut. xviii. 20 — 
22. And by virtue hereof they falsely and cruelly endeavoured 
to take away the life of Jeremiah, because he foretold the ruin 
of them and their city ; chap. xxvi. 11. In the first place, 
though his sign, wonder, or prediction, came to pass, yet the 
doctrine he sought to confirm by it being false, he was to 
be rejected. In the latter, the fulfilling of his sign acquitted 
him, because he taught with it nothing in point of doctrine 
that was false. The first kind of trial of the spirits of pro- 
phets is the duty of all believers under the gospel. And 
those who would deprive them of this liberty would make 
brutes of them instead of Christians ; unless to believe a 
man knows not what, and to obey he knows not why, be the 
properties of Christians; see Rom. xii. 2. Ephes. v. 8 — 11. 
Phil. i. 10. 1 Thess. v. 21. The other, so far as was needful 
to preserve the church in truth and peace, was provided for 
in those primitive times, whilst there was a real communi- 
cation of extraordinary gifts of the Spirit (and so more 
occasion given to the false pretence of them, and, more 
danger in being deceived by them), by a peculiar gift of dis- 
cerning them bestowed on some amongst them ; 1 Cor. xii. 
10. ' Discerning of spirits' is reckoned among the gifts of the 
Spirit. So had the Lord graciously provided for his churches, 
that some among them should be enabled in an extraordinary 
manner, to discern and judge of them who pretended unto 
extraordinary actings of the Spirit. And upon the ceasing 
of extraordinary gifts really given from God, the gift also 
of discerning spirits ceased, and we are left unto the word 
alone for the trial of any that shall pretend ^unto them. 
Now this kind of pretence was so common in those days, 
that the apostle Paul writing to the Thessalonians, to cau- 
tion them that they suffered not themselves to be deceived 


in their expectation and computations about the time of the 
coming of Christ, in the first place warns them not to be 
moved in it 'by spirit;' 2 Thess. ii. 2. That is, persons pre- 
tending unto spiritual revelations. Something also of this 
nature hath continued and broken out in succeeding ages, 
and that in instances abominable and dreadful. And the 
more eminent in any season are the real effusions of the 
Holy Spirit upon the ministers of the gospel, and disciples 
of Christ, the more diligence and watchfulness against these 
delusions are necessary. For on such opportunities it is, 
when the use and reputation of spiritual gifts is eminent, 
that Satan doth lav hold to intrude under the colour of them 
his own deceitful suggestions. In the dark times of the 
papacy all stories are full of Satanical delusions, in phantas- 
tical apparitions, horrors, spectrums, and the like effects of 
darkness. It was seldom or never that any falsely pretended 
to the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit ; for these things 
were then of little use or request in the world. But when 
God was pleased to renew really a fresh communication of 
spiritual gifts and graces unto men in and upon the reforma- 
tion, the old dreads and terrors, nightly appearances tending 
unto deeds of darkness vanished, and every where by Satan's 
instigation arose false pretenders to the Spirit of God ; in 
which way of delusion he will still be more active and in- 
dustrious, as God shall increase the gifts and graces of his 
Spirit in his churches ; though as yet in these latter ages he 
hath not attained what he was arrived unto in the primitive 
times of the gospel. A full and clear declaration from the 
Scripture of the nature of the Holy Spirit and his opera- 
tions, may, through the blessing of God, be of use to fortify 
the minds of professors against Satanical delusions counter- 
feiting his actings and inspirations. For directions unto 
this purpose are given us by the holy apostle, who lived 
to see great havoc made in the churches by deluding 
spirits. Knowledge of the truth, trying of spirits that go 
abroad by the doctrines of the Scriptures, dependence on 
the Holy Spirit for his teachings acccording to the word, 
are the things which to this purpose he commends unto us. 
Thirdly, There is in the days wherein we live, an anti- 
spirit, set up and advanced against the Spirit of God, in his 
being and all his operations, in his whole work and use 


towards the church of God. For this new spirit, takes 
upon him whatever is promised to be effected by the ' good 
Spirit of God.' This is that which some men call the light 
within them, though indeed it be nothing but a dark pro- 
duct of Satan upon their own imaginations ; or at best the 
natural light of conscience, which some of the heathens also 
call a spirit 11 . But hereunto do they trust as that which doth 
all for them, leaving no room for the 'promise of the Spi- 
rit of God,' nor any thing for him to do. This teacheth 
them, instructs them, enlightens them ; to this they attend 
as the Samaritans to Simon Magus, and, as they say, 
yield obedience unto it. And from hence, with the fruits of 
it, do they expect acceptation with God, justification and 
blessedness hereafter. And one of these two things these 
deluded souls must fix upon; namely, that this light whereof 
they speak, is either the Holy Spirit of God, or it is not. 
If they say it is the Spirit, it will be easy to demonstrate 
how by their so saying they utterly destroy the very nature 
and being of the Holy Ghost, as will evidently appear in our 
explication of them. And if they say, that it is not the Holy 
Spirit of God which they intend thereby, it will be no less 
manifest that they utterly exclude him on the other side 
from his whole work, and substitute another, yea, an enemy, 
in his room. For another God is a false god ; another 
Christ is a false Christ ; and another Spirit is a false spirit, 
the spirit of antichrist. Now, because this is a growing 
evil amongst us, many being led away and seduced, our duty 
unto Jesus Christ, and compassion for the souls of men, do 
require that our utmost endeavour, in the ways of Christ's 
appointment, should be used to obviate this evil which eateth 
as doth a canker ; which also is propagated by profane and 
vain babblings, increasing still unto more ungodliness. Some 
I confess do unduly rage against the persons of those who 
have imbibed these imaginations, falling upon them with 
violence and fury, as they do also on others ; the Lord lay 
it not unto their charge. Yet this hinders not but that by 
those ' weapons of our warfare which are not carnal, but 
mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, 
casting down such like imaginations, and every high thing 

n Ita dico Lucili ; sacer inter nos spiritus sedct, bonorum malorumque nostro- 
rum observator et custos; prout a nobis tractatus est, ita ipse nos tractat. Sencc. 
Epist. 41. 


that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and 
bringing into captivity every thought unto the obedience of 
Christ,' we ought to attempt the destruction of their er- 
rors, and the breaking of the snares of Satan by whom they 
are taken captive alive at his pleasure. The course indeed 
of opposing errors and false spirits by praying, preaching, 
and writing, is despised by them in whose furious and haughty 
minds, ure, seca, occide; ' burn, cut, and kill,' are alone of any 
signification ; that think, ' arise, Peter, kill and eat,' to be a 
precept of more use and advantage unto them than all the 
commands of Jesus Christ besides. But the way proposed 
unto us by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, walked in by his 
holy apostles, and all the ancient, holy, learned writers of the 
church, is that which in these matters we must and shall 
attend unto. And that course which is particularly suited 
to obviate the evil mentioned, is to give a full plain evident 
declaration from the Scripture of the nature and operations 
of the Holy Spirit of God. Hence it will be undeniably ma- 
nifest what a stranger this pretended light is unto the true 
Spirit of Christ ; how far it is from being of any real use to 
the souls of men; yea, how it is set up in opposition unto 
him and his work, by whom, and by which alone, we become 
accepted with God, and are brought unto the enjoyment of 

Fourthly, There are moreover many hurtful and noxious opi- 
nions concerning the Holy Ghost gone abroad in the world, 
and entertained by many to the subversion of the faith which 
they have professed . Such are those whereby his Deity and 
Personality are denied. About these there have been many 
contests in the world : some endeavouring with diligence 
and subtilty to promote the perverse opinions mentioned ; 
others contending, according to their duty, ' for the faith 
once delivered unto the saints.' But these disputations are 
for the most part so managed, that although the truth be in 
some of them strenuously vindicated, yet the minds of be- 
lievers generally are but little edified by them. For the 

o Quoniam quidam temeritate potius quam recta via etiam in superna eriguntur, 
et htec de Spiritu Sancto jactitant, qua? neque in Scripturis lecta, nee a quoquam 
ecclesiasticorura veterum usurpata sunt, compulsi sumus celeberrimae exhortatione 
fratrum cedere, quaeque sit nostra de eo opinio etiaru Scripturarum testimoniis com- 
probare; ne imperitia tanti dograatis, hi qui contraria opponunt decipiant eos qui 
sine discussione sollicita in adversariorura sententiam statim pertrahuntur. Didym. 
de Spirit. Sane. lib. i. 


most are unacquainted with the ways and terms of arguing, 
which are suited to convince or ' stop the mouths of gain- 
sayers,' rather than to direct the faith of others. Besides, 
our knowledge of things is more by their operations and 
proper effects, than from their own nature and formal reason. 
Especially is it so in divine things, and particularly with 
respect unto God himself. In his own glorious being, he 
dwelleth in light whereunto no creature can approach. In 
the revelation that he hath made of himself by the effects of 
his will in his word and works are we to seek after him. By 
them are the otherwise invisible things of God made known, 
his attributes declared ; and we come to a better acquaint- 
ance with him, than any we can attain by our most diligent 
speculations about his nature itself immediately. So is it 
with the Holy Ghost and his personality. He is in the 
Scripture p proposed unto us to be known by his properties 
and works, adjuncts and operations ; by our duty towards 
him, and our offences against him. The due consideration 
of these things, is that which will lead us into that assured 
knowledge of his being and subsistence, which is necessary 
for the guidance of our faith and obedience, which is the 
end of all these inquiries ; Col. ii. 2. Wherefore, although 
I shall by the way explain, confirm, and vindicate the testi- 
monies that are given in the Scripture, or some of them, 
unto his deity and personality ; yet the principal means that 
I shall insist on for the establishing of our faith in him, is 
the due and just exposition and declaration of the adminis- 
trations and operations that are ascribed unto him in the 
Scriptures ; which also will give great light into the whole 
mystery and economy of God in the work of our salvation 
by Jesus Christ. 

Fifthly, The principal cause and occasion of our present 
undertaking, is the open and horrible opposition that is 
made unto the Spirit of God, and his work in the world. 
There is no concernment of his that is not by many derided, 
exploded, and blasphemed. The very name of the Spirit is 
grown to be a reproach ; nor do some think they can more 
despitefully expose any to scorn, than by ascribing to them 

P Appellatio Spiritus Sancti, et ea qua; monstratur ex ipsa appellatione substantia, 
penitus ab his ignoratur, qui extra sacram Scripturam philosophantur : soluramodo 
eum iu nostratibus Uteris et notio ejus et vocabulum refertur tam in nobis quam in 
Teteribas. Didym. de Spirit. Sane. lib. i. 


a ' concern in the Spirit of God.' This indeed is a thing 
which I have often wondered at, and do continue still so to 
do. For whereas in the gospel every thing that is good, 
holy, praiseworthy, in any man, is expressly assigned to the 
Spirit, as the immediate efficient cause and operator of it, 
and whereas the condition of men without him, not made 
partakers of him, is described to be reprobate or rejected of 
God, and foreign unto any interest in Christ ; yet many pre- 
tending unto the belief and profession of the gospel, are so 
far from owning or desiring a participation of this Spirit in 
their own persons, as that they deride and contemn them 
who dare plead or avow any concern in him or his works. 
Only I must grant that herein they have had some that have 
gone before them; namely, the old scoffing heathens. For 
so doth Lucian in his Philopatris speak in imitation of a 
Christian by way of scorn, Aeye, Ilapa tov irvtvpiaTog Svva/xiv 
tov \6yov Xa/3wv, ' Speak out now, receiving power or ability 
of speaking from the Spirit, or by the Spirit.' Certainly an 
attendance to the old caution, si non caste tamen caute, had 
been needful for some in this matter. Could they not bring 
their own hearts unto a due reverence of the Spirit of God, 
and an endeavour after a participation of his fruits and ef- 
fects, yet the things that are spoken concerning him and 
his work in the whole New Testament, and also in places 
almost innumerable in the Old, might have put a check to 
their public contemptuous reproaches and scornful mock- 
ings, whilst they own those writings to be of God. But 
such was his entertainment in the world upon his first effu- 
sion; Acts ii. 13. Many pretences I know will be pleaded 
to give countenance unto this abomination. For first, they 
will say, It is not the Spirit of God himself and his works, 
but the pretence of others unto him and them, which they 
so reproach and scorn. I fear this plea or excuse, will prove 
too short and narrow, to make a covering unto their pro- 
faneness. It is dangerous venturing with rudeness and pe- 
tulancy upon holy things, and then framing of excuses. But 
in reproaches of the Lord Christ and his Spirit, men will 
not want their pretences ; John x. 32. And the things of the 
Spirit of God, which they thus reproach and scorn in any, 
are either such as are truly and really ascribed unto him and 
wrought by him in the disciples of Jesus Christ, or they are 


not : if they are such as indeed are no effects of the Spirit of 
grace, such as he is not promised for, nor attested to work 
in them that do believe, as vain enthusiasms, ecstatical rap- 
tures and revelations, certainly it more became Christians, 
men professing, or at least pretending, a reverence unto God, 
his Spirit, and his word, to manifest and convince those of 
whom they treat, that such things are not ' fruits of the 
Spirit,' but imaginations of their own, than to deride them 
under the name of the Spirit, or his gifts and operations. 
Do men consider with whom and what they make bold in 
these things ? But if they be things that are real effects of 
the Spirit of Christ in them that believe, or such as are un- 
deniably assigned unto him in the Scripture, which they 
despise ; what remains to give countenance unto this daring 
profaneness ? Yea, but they say, secondly, It is not the real 
true operations of the Spirit themselves, but the false pre- 
tensions of others unto them which they traduce and ex- 
pose. But will this warrant the course which it is manifest 
they steer in matter and manner ? The same persons pretend 
to believe in Christ and the gospel, and to be made par- 
takers of the benefits of his mediation. And yet if they have 
not the ' Spirit of Christ,' they have no saving interest in 
these things ; for if ' any man have not the Spirit of Christ, 
he is none of his.' If it be then only their false pretending 
unto the Spirit of God and his works which these persons 
so revile and scorn, why do they not deal with them in like 
manner with respect unto Christ and the profession of the 
gospel ? Why do they not say unto them, ' You believe in 
Christ, you believe in the gospel;' and thereon expose them 
to derision ? So plainly dealt the Jews with our Lord Jesus 
Christ; Psal. xxii. 7,8. Matt. xxi. 39. 43. It is therefore 
the things themselves, and not the pretences pretended, that 
are the objects of this contempt and reproach. Besides, 
suppose those whom at present on other occasions they hate 
or despise, are not partakers of the Spirit of God, but are 
really strangers unto the things which hypocritically they 
profess ? Will they grant and allow that any other Christians 
in the world do so really partake of him, as to be led, guided, 
directed by him ; to be quickened, sanctified, purified by him ; 
to be enabled unto communion with God, and all duties of 
holy obedience by him; with those other effects and opera- 


tions for which he is promised by Jesus Christ unto his dis- 
ciples ? If they will grant these things to be really effected 
and accomplished in any, let them not be offended with them 
who desire that they should be so in themselves, and declare 
themselves to that purpose ; and men would have more cha- 
rity for them under their petulant scoffing, than otherwise 
they are able to exercise. It will, thirdly, yet be pleaded, 
That they grant as fully as any the being of the Holy Ghost, 
the promise of him and his real operations, only they differ 
from others as to the sense and exposition of those phrases 
and expressions that are used concerning these things in the 
Scripture, which those others abuse in an unintelligible man- 
ner, as making them proper which indeed are metaphorical. 
But is this the way which they like and choose to express 
their notions and apprehensions ? namely, openly to revile 
and scorn the very naming and asserting the work of the 
Spirit of God, in the words which himself hath taught ? A 
boldness this is which as whereof the former ages have not 
given us a precedent, so we hope the future will not afford 
an instance of any to follow the example. For their sense 
and apprehension of these things they shall afterward be 
examined, so far as they have dared to discover them. In 
the mean time we know that the Socinians acknowledge a 
Trinity, the sacrifice of Christ, the expiation of sin made 
thereby ; and yet we have some differences with them about 
these things. And so we have with these men about the 
Spirit of God and his dispensation under the gospel ; though 
like them, they would grant the things spoken of them to 
be true, as metaphorically to be interpreted. But of these 
things we must treat more fully hereafter. 

I say, it is so come to pass amongst many who profess 
they believe the gospel to be true, that the name or naming 
of the Spirit of God is become a reproach. So also is his 
whole work. And the promise of him made by Jesus Christ 
unto his church, is rendered useless and frustrated. It was 
the main, and upon the matter the only, supportment which 
he left unto it in his bodily absence, the only means of ren- 
dering the work of his mediation effectual in them and among 
them. For without him, all others, as the word, ministry, 
and ordinances of worship, are lifeless and useless. God is 
not glorified by them, nor the souls of men advantaged. But 


it is now uncertain with some of what use he is unto the 
church; yea, as far as I can discern, whether he be of any or 
no. Some have not trembled to say and contend, that some 
things as plainly ascribed unto him in the Scripture, as words 
can make an assignation of any thing, are the cause of all 
the troubles and confusions in the world. Let them have 
the word or tradition outwardly revealing the will of God, 
and what it is that he would have them do (as the Jews 
have both to this day), these being made use of by their 
own reason, and improved by their natural abilities, they 
make up the whole of man, all that is required to render 
the persons or duties of any accepted with God. Of 
what use then is the Spirit of God in these things? Of none 
at all it may be, nor the doctrine concerning him, but 
only to fill the world with a buzz and noise, and to trouble 
the minds of men with unintelligible notions. Had not 
these things been spoken, they should not have been re- 
peated, for death lieth at the door in them. So then men 
may pray without him, and preach without him, and turn 
to God without him, and perform all their duties without 
him well enough. For if any one shall plead the necessity 
of his assistance for the due performance of these things, 
and ascribe unto him all that is good and well done in 
them, he shall hardly escape from being notably derided. 
Yet all this while we would be esteemed Christians. And 
what do such q persons think of the prayers of the ancient 
church and Christians unto him for the working of all good 
in them, and their ascriptions of every good thing unto him ? 
And wherein have we any advantage of the Jews, or wherein 
consists the pre-eminence of the gospel ? They have the word 
of God, that part of it which was committed unto their church, 
and which in its kind is sufficient to direct their faith and 
obedience ; for so is the ' sure word of prophecy' if dili- 
gently attended unto ; 2 Pet. i. 19. And if traditions be of 
any use, they can outvie all the world. Neither doth this 

1 Adesto Sancte Spiritus, et paraclesin tuam expectantibus illabere crelitus, sanc- 
tifica templum corporis nostri et consecra in habitaculum tuura ; desiderantes te ani- 
mas tua praesentia Iffitifica, dignam te habitatore doruum corapone; adorna thalannnn 
tuum, et quietis tua? reclinatoriuin, circumdavarietatibus virtutum; sterne paviraenta 
pigmentis ; niteat mansio tua carbunculis flararaeis, et gemruarum splcndoribus ; et 
omnium Chrismatum intrinsecus spirent odoramenta ; affatiru balsami liquor flagrantia 
sua cubiculum suum, imbuat ; et abigens inde quicquid tabidum est, quicquid cor- 
rupted seminarium ; stabile et perpetuuin- hoc facias gaudiura nostrum, et creationis 
tuaj renovationein in dccore ininiarcessibili solides in selenium. Cyprian, de Sp. S3. 


sort of men want their wits, and the exercise of them. Those 
who converse with them in the things of this world, do not 
use to say they are all fools. And for their diligence in the 
consideration of the letter of the Scripture, and inquiring 
into it according to the best of their understanding, none 
will question it, but those unto whom they and their concern- 
ments are unknown. And yet after all this, they are Jews still. 
If we have the New Testament, no otherwise than they have 
the Old, have only the letter of it to philosophize upon, ac- 
cording to the best of our reasons and understandings, with- 
out any dispensation of the Spirit of God accompanying it 
to give us a saving light into the mystery of it, and to make 
it effectual unto our souls ; I shall not fear to say, but that 
as 'they call themselves Jews and are not, but are the syna- 
gogue of Satan,' Rev. ii. 9. so we who pretend ourselves 
to be Christians, as to all the saving ends of the gospel, shall 
not be found in a better condition. 

And yet it were to be wished that even here bounds might 
be fixed unto the fierceness of some men's spirits. But they 
will not suffer themselves to be so confined. In many places 
they are transported with rage and fury, so as to stir up per- 
secution against such as are really anointed with the Spirit 
of Christ, and that for no other reason but because they are 
so ; Gal. iv. 29. Other things indeed are pretended by them, 
but all the world may see that they are not of such import- 
ance as to give countenance unto their wrath. This is the 
latent cause which stirs it up, and is oftentimes openly ex- 

These things at present are charged only as the miscar- 
riages of private persons. When they are received in 
churches, they are the cause of, and an entrance into, a fatal 
defection and apostacy. From the foundation of the world 
the principal revelation that God made of himself, was in the 
oneness of his nature, and his monarchy over all. And herein 
the person of the Father was immediately represented with 
his power and authority. For he is the fountain and original 
of the Deity, the other persons as to their subsistence being 
of him. Only he did withal give out promises concerning 
the peculiar exhibition of the Son in the flesh in an appointed 
season, as also of the Holy Spirit to be given by him in an 
especial manner. Hereby were their persons to be signally 


glorified in this world ; it being the will of God that all 
' men should honour the Son, as they honoured the Father;' 
and the Holy Spirit in like manner. In this state of things, 
the only apostacy of the church could be polytheism and 
idolatry^ Accordingly, so it came to pass : the church of 
Israel was continually prone to these abominations ; so that 
scarcely a generation passed, or very few, wherein the body 
of the people did not more or less defile themselves with 
them. To wean and recover them from this sin was the 
principal end of the preaching of those prophets which God 
from time to time sent unto them; 2 Kings xvii. 13. And 
this also was the cause of all the calamities which befel them, 
and of all the judgments which God inflicted on them, as is 
testified in all the historical books of the Old Testament, and 
confirmed by instances innumerable. To put an end here- 
unto God at length brought a total desolation upon the 
whole church, and caused the people to be carried into cap- 
tivity out of their own land. And hereby it was so far ef- 
fected, that upon their return whatever other sins they fell 
into, yet they kept themselves from idols and idolatry ; Ezek. 
xvi. 62, 63. xxiii. 27. 48. And the reason hereof was, be- 
cause the time was now drawing nigh wherein they were to 
be tried with another dispensation of God. The Son of God 
was to be sent unto them in the flesh. To receive and obey 
him was now to be the principal instance and trial of their 
faith and obedience. They were no longer to be tried merely 
by their faith, whether they would own only the God of Is- 
rael, in opposition unto all false gods and idols ; for that 
ground God had now absolutely won upon them ; but now 
all is to turn on this hinge, whether they would receive the 
Son of God coming in the flesh, according to the promise ; 
here the generality of that church and people fell by their 
unbelief, apostatized from God, and became thereby neither 
church nor people ; John viii. 24. They being rejected, the 
Son of God calls and gathers another church, founding it on 
his own person with faith and the profession of it therein ; 
Matt. xvi. 18, 19. In this new church therefore this foun- 
dation is fixed, and this ground made good, that Jesus Christ 
the Son of God is to be owned and honoured as we honour 
the Father; 1 Cor. iii. 11. And herein all that are duly 
called Christians do agree ; as the church of Israel did in one 

d 2 


God after their return from the captivity of Babylon ; but 
now the Lord Jesus Christ being ascended unto his Father, 
hath committed his whole affairs in the church and in the 
world unto the Holy Spirit; John xvi. 7 — 11. And it is on 
this design of God, that the person of the Spirit may be sin- 
gularly exalted in the church, unto whom they were so in 
the dark before that some, none of the worst of them, profes- 
sed they had not so much as heard whether there were any 
Holy Ghost or no ; Acts xix. 2. that is, at least, as unto the 
peculiar dispensation of him then introduced in the church. 
Wherefore the duty of the church now immediately respects 
the Spirit of God, who acts towards it in the name of the 
Father and of the Son. And with respect unto him it is, that 
the church in its present state is capable of an apostacy from 
God ; and whatever is found of this nature amongst any here 
it hath its beginning. For the sin of despising his person 
and rejecting his work now, is of the same nature with idol- 
atry of old, and the Jews' rejection of the person of the Son. 
And whereas there was a relief provided against these sins, 
because there was a new dispensation of the grace of God to 
ensue in the evangelical work of the Holy Ghost ; if men 
sin against him and his operations, containing the perfection 
and complement of God's revelation of himself unto them, 
their condition is deplorable. 

It may be some will say and plead, that whatever is 
spoken of the Holy Ghost, his graces, gifts, and operations, 
did entirely belong unto the first times of the gospel wherein 
they were manifested by visible and wonderful effects. To 
those times they were confined, and consequently that we 
have no other interest or concern in them but as in a re- 
corded testimony given of old unto the truth of the gospel. 
This is so indeed as unto his extraordinary and miraculous 
operations. But to confine his whole work thereunto, is 
plainly to deny the truth of the promises of Christ, and to 
overthrow his church. For we shall make it undeniably 
evident that none can believe in Jesus Christ, or yield obe- 
dience unto him, or worship God in him, but by. the Holy 
Ghost. And therefore if the whole dispensation of him and 
his communications unto the souls of men do cease, so doth 
all faith in Christ, and Christianity also. 

On these and the like considerations it is that I have 


thought it necessary for myself, and unto the church of God, 
that the Scripture should be diligently searched in and con- 
cerning this great matter. For none can deny but that the 
glory of God, the honour of the gospel, the faith and obe- 
dience of the church, with the everlasting welfare of our own 
souls, are deeply concerned herein. 

The apostle Peter, treating about the great things of the 
gospel taught by himself and the rest of the apostles of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, tells those to whom he wrote, that in 
what was so preached unto them, they had not * followed 
cunningly devised fables;' 2 Pet. i. 16. For so were the 
power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ then reported 
to be in the world. What was preached concerning them 
was looked on as • cunningly devised,' and artificially framed 
' fables,' to inveigle and allure the people. This the apostle 
gives his testimony against, and withal appeals unto the di- 
vine assurance which they had of the holy truths delivered 
unto them; ver. 17 — 20. In like manner our Lord Jesus 
Christ himself having preached the doctrine of regeneration 
unto Nicodemus, he calls it into question as a thing incre- 
dible, or unintelligible ; John iii. 4. For whose instruction 
and the rebuke of his ignorance he lets him know that he 
spake nothing but what he brought with him from heaven, 
from the eternal fountain of goodness and truth; ver. U — 
13. It is fallen out not much otherwise in this matter. 

The doctrine concerning the Spirit of God, and his work 
on the souls of men, hath been preached in the world. 
What he doth in convincing men of sin ; what in working 
godly sorrow and humiliation in them ; what is the exceed- 
ing greatness of his power, which he puts forth in the re- 
generation and sanctification of the souls of men ; what are 
the supplies of grace which he bestows on them that do 
believe ; what assistance he gives unto them as the Spirit of 
grace and supplications ; hath been preached, taught, and 
pressed on the minds of them that attend unto the dispensa- 
tion of the word of the gospel. Answerable hereunto, 
men have been urged to try, search, examine themselves, as 
to what of this work of the Holy Ghost they have found, 
observed, or had experience to have been effectually ac- 
complished in or upon their own souls. And hereon they 
have been taught, that the great concernments of theiv 


peace, comfort, and assurance, of their communion among 
themselves as the saints of God, with many other ends of 
their holy conversation, do depend. Nay, it is, and hath 
been constantly, taught them, that if there be not an effec- 
tual work of the Holy Ghost upon their hearts, that they 
' cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' Now these things, 
and whatever is spoken in the explication of them, are by 
some called in question, if not utterly rejected. Yea, some 
look on them as 'cunningly devised fables;' things, that 
some not long since invented, and others have propagated 
for their advantage. Others say, that what is delivered 
concerning them, is hardly, if at all, to be understood by 
rational men, being only empty speculations about things 
wherein Christian religion is little or not at all concerned. 
Whereas, therefore, many, very many, have received these 
things as sacred truths, and are persuaded that they have 
found them realized in their own souls, so that into their 
experience of the work of the Holy Spirit of God in them, 
and upon them, according as it is declared in the word, all 
their consolation and peace with God, is for the most part 
resolved, as that which gives them the best evidence of 
their interest in him who is their peace ; and whereas for 
the present, they do believe that unless these things are so 
in and with them, they have no foundation to build a hope 
of eternal life upon; it cannot but be of indispensable ne- 
cessity unto them to examine and search the Scripture dili- 
gently whether these things be so or no. For, if there be 
no such work of the Spirit of God upon the hearts of men, 
and that indispensably necessary to their salvation ; if there 
are no such assistances and supplies of grace needful unto 
every good duty, as wherein they have been instructed; 
then in the whole course of their profession they have only 
been seduced ' by cunningly devised fables,' their deceived 
hearts have fed upon ashes, and they are yet in their sins. 
It is then of no less consideration and importance than the 
eternal welfare of their souls immediately concerned therein 
can render it ; that they diligently try, examine, and search 
into these things, by the safe and infallible touchstone and 
rule of the word, whereon they may, must, and ought, to 
venture their eternal condition. I know, indeed, that most 
believers are so far satisfied in the truth of these things and 


their own experience of them, that they will not be moved 
in the least by the oppositions which are made unto them, 
and the scorn that is cast upon them. ' For he that believeth 
on the Son of God hath the witness in himself;' 1 John v. 
10. But yet as Luke wrote his Gospel to Theophilus, that 
he might ' know the certainty of those things wherein he 
had been instructed;' Luke i. 4. that is, to confirm him in 
the truth, by an addition of new degrees of assurance unto 
him; so it is our duty to be so far excited by the clamorous 
oppositions that are made unto the truths which we profess, 
and in whose being; such we are as much concerned as our 
souls are worth, to compare them diligently with the Scrip- 
ture, that we may be the more fully confirmed and established 
in them. And upon the examination of the whole matter, I 
shall leave them to their option as Elijah did of old; if 
* Jehovah be God, serve him, and if Baal be God, let him be 
worshipped.' If the things which the generality of pro- 
fessors do believe and acknowledge, concerning the Spirit 
of God and his work on their hearts, his gifts and graces in 
the church, with the manner of their communication, be for 
the substance of them, wherein they all generally agree ac- 
cording to the Scripture, taught and revealed therein, on 
the same terms as by them received; then may they abide 
in the holy profession of them, and rejoice in the consola- 
tions they have received by them. But if these things, with 
those other, which, in the application of them to the souls 
of men, are directly and necessarily deduced, and to be 
deduced from them, are all but vain and useless imagina- 
tions, it is hig-h time the minds of men were disburdened 
of them. 






Qf the Name of the Holy Spirit. Various uses of the words nil and 
7rvtvfia. TT\~) for the wind or any thing invisible with a sensible agita- 
tion. Amos iv. 14. Mistakes of the ancients rectified by Hierom. 
nVl metaphorically for vanity, Metonymically for the part or quarter 
of any thing. For our vital breath. The rational soul. The affections. 
Angels good and bad. Ambiguity from the use of the word how to be re- 
moved. Rules concerning the Holy Spirit. The name, Spirit, how pecu- 
liar and appropriate unto him. Why he is called the Holy Spirit. Whence 
called the Good Spirit. The Spirit of God. The Spirit of the Son, Acts 
ii. 33. 1 Pet. i. 10 3 11. explaine d. John iv. 3. vindicated. 

Before we engage into the consideration of the things them- 
selves, concerning which we are to treat, it will be neces- 
sary to speak something unto the Name, whereby the third 
person in the Trinity is commonly known, and peculiarly 
called in the Scripture. This is the Spirit, or the Holy 
Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, as we usually speak. And this I 
shall do, that we be not deceived with the homonymy of 
the word, nor be at a loss in the intention of those places 
of Scripture where it is used unto other purposes. For it, 
is so, that the name of the second person, 6 Aoyoc,' the Word,' 
and of the third, r6 Trvtvfia, ' the Spirit/ are often applied to 
signify other things; I mean, those words are so. And 
some make their advantages of the ambiguous use of them. 
But the Scripture is able of itself to manifest its own in- 
tention and meaning, unto humble and diligent inquirers 
into it. 

It is, then, acknowledged, that the use of the words nn 
and 7rv£v/*a in the Old Testament and New is very various; 
yet are they the words whereby alone the Holy Spirit of 
God is denoted. Their peculiar signification, therefore, in 


particular places is to be collected and determined from the 
subject matter treated of in them, and other especial cir- 
cumstances of them. This was first attempted by the most 
learned Didymus of Alexandria, whose words, therefore, I 
have set down at large, and shall cast his observations into a 
more perspicuous method, with such additions as are need- 
ful for the farther clearing of the whole matter. First, 3 In 
general, nn and trvivfxa signify a wind or spirit, that is, any 

a Quiavero Spiritus vocabulum multa significat enumerandum est breviter quibus 
rebus nomen ejus aptetur : vocatur spiritus et ventus, sicut in Ezechiete ; tertiam 
partem disperges in spiritum; hoc est in ventum. Quod si voles secundum histo- 
rian) scribere quod scriptum est; in spiritu violento conteres naves Tharcis, non 
aliud ibi spiritus quani ventus accipitur : nee non Solomon inter multa hoc quoque 
munus a Deo accepit ut sciret violentias spirituum; non aliud in hoc se accepisse 
demonstrans, quam scire rapidos ventorum flatus, et quibus causis eorum natura 
subsistat. Vocatur et anima spiritus ut in Jacobi epistola. Quomodc corpus tuum 
sine spiritu mortuum est ; manifestissime enim spiritus hie nihil aliud nisi anima 
nuncupatur. Juxta quam intelligentiam Stephanus animam suam spirituni vocans ; 
domine inquit Jesu suscipe spiritum meum. Illud quoque quod in Ecclesiastice dici- 
tur, quis scit an spiritus honiinis ascendat sursum, et spiritus jumenti descendat 
deorsurn. Considerandum ultimo num et pecudum animce spiritus appellentar. 
Dicilur etiam excepta anima, et excepto spiritu sanc'o, spiritus alius quis esse in, 
homine de quo Paulus scribit; quis enim scit hominum ea qua? sunt hominis, nisi 
spiritus hominis qui in eo est? Sed et in alio loco idem apostolus a nostro spiritu 
Spiritum Dei secernens ait, ipse Spiritus testimonium perhibet spiritui nostro ; hoc 
significans, quod Spiritus Dei, id est, Spiritus Sanctus testimonium spiritui nostro 
prasbeat, quern nunc diximus esse spiritum hominis. Ad Thessalonicenses quoque, 
integer, inquit, spiritus vester et anima et corpus. — Appellantur quoque supernse 
rationabilesque virtutes, qua? solet Scriptura angelos et fortitudines nominare, voca- 
bulo spiritus ; ut ibi, qui facis angelos tuos spiritus ; et alibi, nonne omnes sunt admini- 
strators spiritas I Rationales quoque alias creatui as, etde bono in malum sponte proflu- 
entes, spiritus passim, et spiritus appellantur immundi ; sicut ibi, cum autem spiritus 
immundusexierit ab homine, et in consequentibus; assumit septem alios spiritus nequi- 
ores se. Spiritus quoque da?mones in Evangelio appellantur: sed hoc notandum, nun- 
quam simpliciter spiritum sed cum aliquo additamento spiritum significari contrarium, 
ut spiritus imniundus.et spiritus dasmonis; hi vero qui sancti sunt spiritus absque ullo 
additamento spiritus simpliciter appellantur. Sciendum quoque quod nomen spiritus 
et voluntatem hominis et animi sententiam sonet. Volens quippe apostolus non 
solum corpore sed et mente sanctum esse, id est, non tantum corpore, sed et raotu 
cordis interno, ait, ut sitis sancti corpore et spiritu, voluntatem spiritu et corpore 
opera significans. Considera alium hoc ipsum in Esaia sonat quod scriptum est ; et 
scient qui spiritu errant, intellectum. — Et super omnia vocabulum spiritus, altiorem 
et mysticum in scripturis Sanctis significat intellectum ; ut ibi litera occidit, spiritus 
autem vivificat. — Haec juxta possibilitatem nostri ingenii,quot res spiritus significet, 
attigimus. — Nonnunquam autem spiritus et Dorainus nosier Jesus Christus, id est, 
Dei Filius appellatur. Dominus autem spiritus est ut ante diximus : ubi etiam 
illud adjunxiinus, spiritus Deus est, non juxta nominis communionem, sed juxta na- 
tura; substantiate consortium. — Porro adhac necessario devoluti sunius, ut quia 
frequenter appellatio spiritus, in Scripturis est respersa divinis, non labamur in nomine 
sed unumquodque secundum locorum varietates et intelligentias accipiamus. 
Omni itaque studio ac diligentia vocabulum spiritus, ubi et quomodo appellatum sit 
contemplantes, sophismata eorum et fraudulentas decipulas conteramus, qui Spiritum 
Sanctum asserunt creaturam. Legentes enim in propheta ego contirmavi tonitruura, 
etcreavi spiritum, ignorantia multiplicis in hac parte sermonis putaverunt Spiritum 
Sanctum ex hoc vocabulo demonstrari ; cum in praesentiarum spiritus nomen ventum 
sonet. Ergo ut pra-locuti sumus, quomodo unumquodque dictum sit, consideremus 
ne forte per ignorantiam in barathrara decidamus erroris. Didym. de Sp. Sane. lib. 5. 


thing which moves and is not seen. So the air in a violent 
agitation, is called nn, Gen. viii. 1. jntfrffy nn D'n^ "Qjn. 
And ' God made a wind, or spirit/ that is, a strong and 
mighty wind, to * pass over the earth/ for the driving and 
removal of the waters. So -nvvufxa is used, John iii. 8. to 
•nvtvfia ottov OiXei irvel' ' The wind bloweth where it listeth, 
and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence 
it cometh, nor whither it goeth / which is a proper descrip- 
tion of this first signification of the word. It is an agitation 
of the air which is unseen. So Psal. i. 4. And in this 
sense, sometimes, it signifies a violent and strong wind; that 
is, prm nbwz mil, 1 Kings xix. 11. And sometimes a cool 
and soft wind, or a light easy agitation of the air, such as 
often ariseth in the evenings of the spring or summer; so 
Gen. iii. 8. 'God walked in the garden, cavn nn^inthe cool 
of the day / that is, when the evening air began to breathe 
gently, and moderate the heat of the day. So in the poet; 

Solis ad occasura, quum frigidus aera vesper 
Temperat. Virg. Geor. in. 336. 

' At the going down of the sun when the cold evening tem- 
pers the heat of the air.' And some think this to be the 
sense of that place, Psal. civ. 4. ' Who maketh his angels 
ninn spirits;' swift, agile, powerful as mighty winds. But 
the reader may consult our exposition on Heb. i. 7. 

This is one signification of the word nn, or, this is one 
thing denoted by it in the Scripture. So, among many other 
places, expressly Amos iv. 13. for, lo, nn N"D1 onn -|Jtt>, 
' he that formeth the mountains, and createth the spirit/ 
that is, ( the wind.' The LXX render this place, arepewv 
fipovrnv, kcu Kxt£wv 7rvevfxa, ' who establisheth the thunder, 
and createth the spirit/ though some copies read, to. opr\, 
'the mountains.' And the next words in the text, TJOl, 
in , I^ ilD CDTK^, and ' declareth unto man what is his thought / 
they render koli airayyiWwv eig avdpwTrovg tov ^piarbv avrov, 
and ' declareth unto men his Christ, or his Anointed, or his 
Messiah.' For they took m'ttf no for lirttfD, by inadvertency, 
and not for want of points or vowels as some imagine, see- 
ing the mistake consists in the casting out of a letter itself. 
And thence the old Latin translation renders the words, 
' Firmans tonitruum, et creans Spiritum, et annuncians in 
homines Christum suum.' Which Hierom rectified into 


' formans raontes, et creans ventum, et annuntians homini 
eloquium suum;' discovering in his comment the mistake of 
the LXX. But it is certain that from the ambiguity of the 
word nn in this place, with the corrupt translations making 
mention of Christ in the next words, some who of old denied 
the Deity of the Holy Spirit, mightily insisted on it to prove 
him a creature, as may be seen in Didymus, Ambrose, 
Hierom, Hilarius, and the ancients generally. But the con- 
text determines the signification of the word beyond all just 
exceptions. It is the power of God in making and disposing 
of things here below, whether dreadful for their greatness and 
height, as the mountains ; or mighty and effectual in their 
operations, as the wind ; or secret in their conceptions, as 
the thoughts of men ; or stable in their continuance, as the 
night and day, the evening and morning, without the least 
respect to Christ or the Spirit, that it treateth of. 

And I cannot but observe from hence, the great neces- 
sity there is of searching the original text in the interpreta- 
tion of the Scriptures ; as it might be evidenced by a thou- 
sand other instances. But one we may take from two great 
and learned men who were contemporaries in the Latin 
church, in their thoughts on this place ; the one is Ambrose, 
who interpreting these words in his second book ' de Spiritu 
Sancto,' cap. 1. being deceived by the corrupt translation 
mentioned, ' annuncians in homines Christum suum,' is 
forced to give a very strained exposition of that which in 
truth is not in the text, and to relieve himself also with 
another corruption in the same place, where ' forming the 
mountains,' is rendered by ' establishing the thunder;' and 
yet when he hath done all, can scarce free himself of the ob- 
jection about the creation of the Spirit, which he designs to 
answer. His words are, ' Siquis propheticum dictum, ideo 
derivandum putet ad interpretationem Spiritus sancti ; quia 
habet, annuncians in homines Christum suum is ad incarna- 
tionis Dominicae mysteria dictum facilius derivabit. Nam 
si te movet quia Spiritum dixit, et hoc non putas derivan- 
dum ad mysteria assumptionis humanae; persequere scriptu- 
ras et invenies optime congruere de Christo, de quo bene 
convenit aestimari, quia firmavit tonitrua adventu suo ; vim 
videlicet et sonum ccelestium scripturarum ; quarum velut 
quodain tonitni mentes nostra redduuturattonitae; et timeic 


discamus, et reverentiam caelestibus deferamus oraculis. 
Denique, in Evangelio fratres Domini filii tonitru diceban- 
tur. Et cum vox Patris facta esset dicentis ad filium, et ho- 
norificavi te, et iterum honorificabo, Judaei dicebant toni- 
truum factum esse illi.' And hereon, with some observations 
to the same purpose, he adds ; ' Ergo tonitrua ad sermones 
Domini retulit quorum in omnem terramexivitsonus; Spiri- 
tum autem hoc loco, animam quam suscepit rationabilem et 
perfectam intelligimus.' 

The substance of his discourse is, that treating of Christ, 
who indeed is neither mentioned nor intended in the text, he 
speaks of ' confirming the thunder' (which nowhere here ap- 
pears), by which the sound of the Scriptures and preaching 
of the word is intended ; the spirit that was created being 
the human soul of Jesus Christ. Nor was he alone in this 
interpretation. Didym. lib. 2. de Spiritu sancto; Athanas. 
ad Serapion. Basil, lib. 4. contra Eunom. amongst the Gre- 
cians, are in like manner entangled with this corruption of 
the text ; as was also Concil. Sardicen. in Socrat. lib. 2, 
cap. 20. The other person intended is Hierom, who consult- 
ing the original, as he was well able to do, first translated 
the words, ' Quia ecce formans montes et creans ventum, et 
annuntians homini eloquium suum/ declares the mistake of 
the LXX, and the occasion of it: 'Pro montibus qui He- 
braice dicuntur DHH, soli LXX fipovrriv, id est, tonitruum 
verterunt. Cur autem illi Spiritum et nos dixerimus ventum, 
qui Hebraice im vocatur, causa manifesta est. Quodque 
sequitur annuncians homini eloquium suum, LXX transtu- 
lerent air ay ytWwv dg av^pw-jrovg rbv Xptorov avrov, verbi si- 
militudine, et ambiguitate decepti.' So he shews that it is 
not lirttfO in the text, but iirttfnD; that is, saith he, 'juxta 
Aqujlam bfiiXiav avrov ; Symmachum to ^wvrjjua avrov, juxta 
Theodotionem rbv \6yov avrov; juxta quintam Editionem 
Trjv aSo^to^mv avrov.' 

And as rrffl, whence the word is, signifying both to me- 
ditate and to speak, so the word itself intends a conceived 
thought to be spoken afterward. And that 1 here is recipro- 
cal not relative. And to this purpose is his ensuing exposi- 
tion ; 'Qui confirmat montes, ad cujus vocem ceelorum car- 
dines et terrae fundamenta quatiuntur. Ipse qui creat Spiri- 
tum, quern in hoc loco non Spiritum sanctum, ut Haeretiqi 


suspicantur, sed ventum intelligiraus, sive spiritum homi- 
nis, annuncians homini eloquiumejus ; qui cogitationum se- 
creta cog-noscit.' Hieron. in loc. 

Secondly, Because the wind, on the account of its unac- 
countable variation, inconstancy, and changes, is esteemed 
vain, not to be observed or trusted unto ; whence the wise 
man tells us, that ' he which observeth the wind shall not 
sow;' Eccles. xi. 4. the word is used metaphorically to sig- 
nify vanity, Eccles. v. 16. What profit hath a man that he 
hath laboured nr\b for the wind. So Mic. ii. 11. If a man 
walk npiZtt rm ' with the wind and falsehood ;' that is, in va- 
nity; pretending to a spirit of prophecy and falsehood, vainly, 
foolishly, falsely boasting. So Job xv. 2. Should a wise man 
utter nnnjn 'knowledge of wind?' vain words with a pretence 
of knowledge of wisdom. As he calls them mi nm ' words of 
wind,' chap. xvi. 3. So also Jer. v. 13. * And the prophets 
shall become nn^> wind ;' or, be vain, foolish, uncertain, and 
false, in their predictions. But 7rvfufia is not used thus me- 
taphorically in the New Testament. 

Thirdly, By a metonymy, also, it signifies any part or quar- 
ter, as we say, of the world from whence the wind blows; as 
also a part of any thing divided into four sides or quarters. 
So Jer. lii. 23. There were ninety and six pomegranates 
nnn towards a wind, that is, on the one side of the chapiter 
that was above the pillars in the temple. Ezek. v. 12. ' I 
will scatter a third part rm bjb to all the winds,' or all parts 
of the earth. Hence the four quarters of a thing lying to the 
four parts of the world, are called its four winds, mim ymx. 
1 Chron. ix. 24. whence are the rlaaapeg cive/uoi, ' the four 
winds,' in the New Testament; Matt. xxiv. 31. This is the 
use of the word in general with respect unto things natural 
and inanimate ; and every place where it is so used gives it 
determinate sense. 

Again, These words are used for any thing that cannot 
be seen or touched, be it in itself material and corporeal, or 
absolutely spiritual and immaterial ; so the vital breath which 
we and other living creatures breathe is called. Every 
thing wherein was ED»n rm nn^J ' the breath of the spirit 
of life ;' Gen. vii. 22. that vital breath which our lives are 
maintained by in respiration. So Psal. cxxxv. 17. Job xix. 17. 
which is a thing material or corporeal. But most frequently 


it denotes things purely spiritual and immaterial. As in finite 
substances it signifies the rational soul of man ; Psal. xxxi. 5. 
' Into thy hands I commend, >rm, that is, my soul ;' they are 
the words whereby our Saviour committed his departing 
soul into the hands of his Father ; Luke xxiii. 46. to 7rvtu- 
fta fxov. So Psal. cxlvi. 4. inn NKD ; his breath, say we, goeth 
forth ; he returneth to his earth. It is his soul and its de- 
parture from the body that is intended. This is rznN »33 nn 
* that spirit of the sons of men that goeth upwards,' when the 
spirit of a beast goeth downwards to the earth, or turneth 
to corruption; Eccles. iii. 21. see chap. viii. 8. xii. 7. 
Hence, fourthly, by a metonymy also, it is taken for the 
affections of the mind or soul of man; and that whether they 
be good or evil; Gen. xlv. 27. 'The spirit of Jacob revived.' 
He began to take heart and be of good courage. Ezek. xiii. 3. 
' The prophets that walk EDITH ">nN, after their spirit ;' that is, 
their own desires and inclinations, when indeed they had no 
vision but spake what they had a mind unto. Numb. xiv. 24. 
Caleb is said to have another spirit than the murmuring 
people ; another mind, will, purpose, or resolution. It is 
taken for prudence, Josh. v. 1. Anger, or the irascible fa- 
culty, Eccles. vii. 10. Fury, Zech. vi. 8. 'He will cut off the 
spirit of princes ;' that is, their pride, insolency, and con- 
tempt of others. Uvev/jta in the New Testament frequently 
intends the intellectual part of the mind or soul, and that as 
it is active, or in action ; Luke i. 47. Rom. i; 9. 1 Thess. v. 23. 
And oft-times is taken for the mind in all its inclinations, in 
its whole habitual bent and design. Angels also are called 
spirits. Good angels, Psal. civ. 4. And it may be an angel 
is intended, 1 Kings xviii. 12. And evil angels or devils, 
1 Kings xxii. 21, 22. For that spirit who appeared before 
the Lord and offered himself to be a lying spirit in the 
mouths of Ahab's prophets, was no other but he who ap- 
peared before God, Job i. who is called Satan. These in the 
New Testament are called unclean spirits; Matt. x. 1. And 
the observation of the ancients, that Satan is not called a 
spirit absolutely, but with an addition or mark of distinction, 
holds only in the New Testament b . And because evil spirits 

b Discant (homines) Scripturae sanctee consuetudinem ; nunquam spiritum per- 
versum absolute, sed cum additamento aliquo spiritum nuncupari ; sicut ibi, spiritu 
fornieationis seducti sunt. Et in Evangelio, cum autem spiritus immundus exitrit 
tie homine, et caetera his similia. Hieronym. Comment, in Hnbbak. cap. 2. 


are wont to torment the minds and bodies of men, therefore 
evil thoughts, disorders of mind, wicked purposes disquiet- 
ing and vexing the soul, arising from or much furthered by 
melancholy distempers, are called, it may be, sometimes an 
evil spirit. The case of Saul shall be afterward considered. 
In such variety are these words used and applied in the 
Scripture, because of some very general notions wherein the 
things intended do agree. For the most part there is no 
great difficulty in discovering the especial meaning of them, 
or what it is they signify in the several places where they 
occur. Their design and circumstances as to the subject 
matter treated of, determine the signification. And notwith- 
standing the ambiguous use of these words in the Old and 
New Testament, there are two things clear and evident unto 
our purpose. First, that there is in the Holy Scriptures a 
full distinct revelation or declaration of the Spirit, or the 
Spirit of God c , as one singular, and every way distinct from 
every thing else that is occasionally or constantly signified 
or denoted by that word Spirit. And this, not only a mul- 
titude of particular places gives testimony unto, but also the 
whole course of the Scripture supposeth, as that without 
an acknowledgment whereof nothing else contained in it 
can be understood, or is of any use at all. For we shall find 
this doctrine to be the very life and soul which quickens the 
whole from first to last. Take away the work and powerful 
efficacy of the Holy Spirit from the administration of it, and 
it will prove but a dead letter, of no saving advantage to the 
souls of men ; and take away the doctrine concerning him 
from the writing of it, and the whole will be unintelligible 
and useless. Secondly, that whatever is affirmed of this 
Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, it all relates either to his per- 
son or his operations. And these operations of his being va- 
rious, are sometimes by a metonymy called spirit, whereof 
afterward. I shall not therefore need to prove that there 
is a Holy Spirit distinct from all other spirits whatever, and 
from every thing else that on several occasions is signified 
by that name. For this is acknowledged by all that acknow- 
ledge the Scriptures; yea, it is so by Jews and Mahometans, 

c Qui Spiritum negant, et Deum Patrem negant et filium ; quoniam idem estSpi- 
ritus Dei, qui Spiritus Christi est. Unum atitem esse Spiritum nemo dubitaverit- 
eisi de uno Deo plrriqtte dubitavorulit. Ambros. dc Spirit. Sane. lib. 1. cap. ;>. 


as well as all sorts of Christians. And indeed all those false 
apprehensions concerning him, which have at this day any 
countenance given unto them, may be referred unto two 
heads. 1. That of the modern Jews, who affirm the Holy 
Ghost to be the influential power of God ; which conceit is 
entertained and diligently promoted by the Socinians. 
2. That of the Mahometans, who make him an eminent an- 
gel, and sometimes say it is Gabriel, which being traduced 
from the Macedonians of old, hath found some defenders and 
promoters in our days. 

This then being the name of him concerning whom we 
treat, some things concerning it, and the use of it, as pecu- 
liarly applied unto him are to be premised . For sometimes 
he is called the Spirit absolutely, sometimes the Holy Spirit, 
or, as we speak, the Holy Ghost ; sometimes the Spirit of 
God, the good Spirit of God, the Spirit of truth and holi- 
ness ; sometimes the Spirit of Christ, or of the Son. The 
first absolutely used, denotes his person ; the additions, ex- 
press his properties and relation unto the other persons. 

In the name Spirit two things are included. First, his 
nature or essence ; namely, that he is & pure, spiritual, or imma- 
terial substance. For neither the Hebrews nor the Greeks can 
express such a being in its subsistence, but by im and 
irvevfia ; a spirit. Nor is this name, firstly, given unto the 
Holy Spirit in allusion unto the wind in its subtilty, agility, 
and efficacy d . For these things have respect only unto his 
operations, wherein from some general appearances his works 
and effects are likened unto the wind and its effects; John 
iii. 8. But it is his substance or being which is first intended 
in this name. So it is said of God e , John iv. 24. Tlvev/xa 
o Qeog, 'God is a Spirit;' that is, he is of a pure, spiritual, 
immaterial nature, not confined unto any place, and so not 
regarding one more than another in his worship; as is the 

c "Ovojua alrov <rrnZy.a. ayiov, myivfxa aX-nQtltt; , tsrviufxa rov QtoZ, meZ/xa xvptou, tsniv(xa. 
tov narjoj, vrvtZfAO. X£t?-rov ; xai o'vro) xa\ei clvtov h ygapn. MaXXov Si airo iavro xal 
imZfjia. ©sou, xa< irviv/xa. to bk tov ©eou. Chrysost. de Adorand. Sp. 

<* Crell. Prolegoru. 

e Sanctificationis bonitatisque vocabulum, et ad Patrem et ad Filium, et ad Spi- 
ritum Sanctum oeque refertur ; sicutipsa quoque appellatio Spiritus. Nam et pater 
Spiritus dicitur ut ibi, Spiritus est Deus; Spiritus est Deus et Filius Spiritus, Do- 
minus inquit Spiritus ejus : Spiritus autem Sanctus semper Spiritus Sancti appella- 
tione censetur ; non quod ex consortio tantum nominis cum Patre ponatur et Filio ; 
sed quod una natura unuin possideat et nomen. Didym. de Spirit. Sane. lib. J. 


design of the place to evince. It will therefore be said, that 
on this account the name of Spirit is not peculiar unto the 
third person, seeing it contains the description of that na- 
ture, which is the same in them all. For whereas it is said 
' God is a Spirit,' it is not spoken of this or that person, but of 
the nature of God abstractedly. I grant that so it is f , and 
therefore the name Spirit is not, in the first place, character- 
istical of the third person in the Trinity, but denotes that 
nature whereof each person is partaker. But moreover, as it 
is peculiarly and constantly ascribed unto him, it declares 
his especial manner and order of existence. So that wher- 
ever there is mention of the Holy Spirit, his relation unto 
the Father and Son is included therein, for he is the Spirit of 
God. And herein there is an allusion to somewhat created, 
not as I said to the wind in general, unto whose agility and 
invisibility he is compared in his operations, but unto the 
breath of man. For as the vital breath of a man hath a con- 
tinual emanation from him, and yet is never separated ut- 
terly from his person or forsaketh him ; so doth the Spirit 
of the Father and the Son proceed from them by a continual 
divine emanation, still abiding one with them. For all 
these allusions are weak and imperfect wherein substantial 
things are compared with accidental, infinite things with 
finite, and those that are eternal with those that are tempo- 
rary. Hence their disagreement is infinitely more than their 
agreement ; yet such allusions doth our weakness need in- 
struction from and by. Thus he is* called VD nn ; Psal. 
xxxiii. 6. 'The Spirit or breath of the mouth of the Lord;' or 
of his nostrils ; as Psal. xviii. 15. wherein there is an emi- 
nent allusion unto the breath of a man. Of the manner of 
this proceeding and emanation of the Spirit from the Father 
and the Son so far as it is revealed, and as we are capable 
of a useful apprehension of it, I have treated elsewhere. 
And from hence, or the subsistence of the Holy Spirit in an 
eternal emanation from the Father and Son as the breath of 
God, did our Saviour signify his communication of his gifts 

f Multa sunt testimonia, quibus hoc evidenter ostenditur, et Patris et Filii ipsum 
esse Spiritum, qui in Trinitate dicitur Spiritus Sanctus. Nee ob aliud existimo ip- 
sum proprie vocari Spiritum, cum etiam si dc singulis interrogemur, non possimus 
nonPatremetFilium Spiritum dicere ; quoniam Spiritus est Deus, id est non Corpus 
est Deus sed Spiritus ; hoc proprie vocari oportuit enm.qui non est unus eorum, sed 
in quo communitas apparet amborum. August. Tractat. 99. in Johan. 



unto his disciples by breathing on them ; John xx. 22. zva- 
(pvatiae. And because in our first creation it is said of Adam, 
that God CD»n nDtttt VDN3 nD>, ' breathed into his nostrils 
the breath of life ;' Gen. ii. 7. He hath the same appellation 
with respect unto God ; Psal. xviii. 15. Thus is he called 
the Spirit. And because as we observed before, the word 
7rvevfia is variously used, Didymus de Spiritu Sancto, lib. 3. 
supposeth that the prefixing of the article to doth distinguish 
the signification, and confine it to the Holy Ghost in the 
New Testament. Oft-times no doubt it doth so, but not al- 
ways, as is manifest from John viii. 3. where to is joined with 
irvevfia, and yet only signifies the 'wind.' But the subject 
treated of, and what is affirmed of him, will sufficiently de- 
termine the signification of the word, where he is called ab- 
solutely The Spirit. ' 

Again, He is called by way of eminency the Holy Spirit, 
or the Holy Ghost 5 . This is the most usual appellation of 
him in the New Testament. And it is derived from the Old ; 
Psal. Ii. 1 1 . "|t£Hp nn, The ' Spirit of thy Holiness,' or * thy Holy 
Spirit.' Isa. lxiii. 10, 11. i2Hp nn, The 'Spirit of his Holi- 
ness,' or « his Holy Spirit.' Hence are wwpn nn and tmpn nn, 
'the Holy Spirit,' and ' the Spirit of Holiness,' in common use 
among the Jews. In the New Testament he is to TrvEv/xa to 
ayiov, ' that Holy Spirit.' And we must inquire the special 
reasons of tins adjunct. Some suppose it is only from his 
peculiar work of sanctifying us, or making us holy. For this 
effect of sanctification is his peculiar work, and that of what 
sort soever it be ; whether it consist in a separation from 
things profane and common unto holy uses and services ; 
or whether it be the real infusion and operation of holiness 
in men, it is from him in. an especial manner. And this also 
manifesteth him to be God, for it is God alone who sancti- 
fieth his people. Levit. xx. 8. ' I am Jehovah who sanctifieth 
you.' And God in that work ascribes unto himself the title 
of Holy in an especial manner, and as such would have us to 
consider him. Levit. xxi. 8. ' I the Lord which sanctifieth 
you am holy.' And this may be one reason of the frequent 
use of this property with reference unto the Spirit. 

But this is not the whole reason of this name and appel- 

S 'AvajSsy wvtpa ©£ou xariouca. liti toi/{ avSgctf ayiovs JcogEix, h mevfiia ayiov ovo[/.a£outrtv 
el hpo) wpcxfrjTai. Justin Mart. 


lation. For where he is first so mentioned he is called the 
* Spirit of God's holiness ;' Psal. li. 11. Isa. lxiii. 10, 11. And 
in the New Testament absolutely 'the Spirit of Holiness;' 
Rom. i. 4. And this respects his nature in the first place, and 
not merely his operations' 1 . As God then absolutely is called 
' Holy,' 'the Holy One,' and the 'Holy One of Israel,' being 
therein described by that glorious propertyofhis nature where- 
by he is 'glorious in holiness;' Exod.xv. 11. and whereby he 
is distinguished from all false gods ; ' who is like unto thee, O 
Jehovah, among the gods, who is like unto thee, glorious in ' 
holiness ;' so is the Spirit called Holy to denote the holiness 
of his nature. And on this account is the opposition made 
between him and the unholy, or unclean spirit. Mark iii. 
29, 30. ' He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, 
hath never forgiveness. Because they said, He hath an un- 
clean spirit.' And herein first his personality is asserted; 
fort he unclean spirit is a person. And if the Spirit of God 
were only a quality or accident, as some fancy and dream, 
there could no comparative opposition be made between him 
and this unclean spirit, that is, the devil. So also are they 
opposed with respect unto their natures. His nature is holy, 
whereas that of the unclean spirit is evil and perverse. This 
is the foundation of his being called Holy ; even the eternal 
glorious holiness of his nature. And on this account he is 
so styled also with respect unto all his operations. For it is 
not only with regard unto the particular work of regeneration 
and sanctification, or making of us holy, but unto all his 
works and operations that he is so termed. For he being the 
immediate operator of all divine works that outwardly are of 
God, and they being in themselves all holy, be they of what 
kind soever, he is called the Holy Spirit. Yea he is so called 
to attest and witness that all his works, all the works of 
God, are holy, although they may be great and terrible, and 
such as to corrupt reason may have another appearance ; in 
all which we are to acquiesce in this, that the ' Holy One in 
the midst of us will do no iniquity ;' Zeph. iii. 5. The Spirit 
of God then is thus frequently and almost constantly called 
Holy; to attest that all the works of God, whereof he is the 
immediate operator, are holy. For it is the work of the Spi- 

h hiyiraa roiwv mtZfA-ct ayiov. A'6ra yx? ia-nv »i xupia Kai Ttqim tt^ca-nyo^ia. h ifx^avrixco- 
Ttpav ixfvra. Trjv Siavojav, xai 7re;io"ras-a tou ayiov miuy-aroi; rfiv tyiuriv. Chrysost. ub. sup, 



rit to harden and blind obstinate sinners, as well as to sanc- 
tify the elect. And his acting in the one is no less holy than 
in the other, although holiness be not the effect of it in the 
objects. So when he came to declare his dreadful work of 
the final hardening and rejection of the Jews, one of the most 
tremendous effects of divine Providence, a work which for 
the strangeness of it men 'would in no wise believe, though 
it were declared unto them,' (Acts xiii. 41.) he was signally 
proclaimed Holy by the seraphims that attended his throne ; 
Isa. vi. 3. 10 — 12. John xii. 40. Acts xxviii. 26. 

There are indeed some actions on men and in the world, 
that are wrought by God's permission and in his righteous 
judgment, by evil spirits ; whose persons and actings are 
placed in opposition to the Spirit of God. So Sam. xvi. 14, 
15.  The Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil 
spirit from the Lord troubled him. And Saul's servants said 
unto him, Behold now an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.' 
So also ver. 23. 'The evil spirit from God was upon Saul.' 
So chap.xviii. 10. xix. 9. This spirit is called, n]H D'H^N nil, 
'an evil spirit of God,' chap. xvi. 15. and absolutely D'n^N nil, 
'a spirit of God,' ver. 33. where we have supplied evil in the 
translation. But these expressions are to be regulated and 
explained by ver. 14. where he is called nirv r~iNQ run nn, 
* an evil spirit from the Lord,' that is, appointed and com- 
missioned by him, for the punishing and terrifying of Saul. 
For as the Spirit of the Lord departed from him, by with- 
drawing his assistance and influential operations, whereby 
he had wrought in him those gifts and abilities of mind 
which fitted him unto the discharge of his kingly office, 
upon the first impressions whereof he was turned into 
another man from what he was in his private condition ; 
1 Sam. x. 6 — 9. so the evil spirit came upon him to excite 
out of his own adust melancholy, discontents, fears, a sense 
of guilt, as also to impress terrifying thoughts and appre- 
hensions on his imagination. For so it is said an evil spirit 
from the Lord innjD, 1 Sam. xvi. 14. terrified him, frightened 
him with dreadful agitations of mind. And that we may 
touch a little on this by the way ; the foundation of this 
trouble and distress of Saul lay in himself. For as I do 
grant that he was sometimes under an immediate agitation 
of body and mind from the powerful impressions of the devil 


upon him, for under them it is said, he • prophesied in the 
midst of the house;' 1 Sam. xviii. 10. which argues an ex- 
traordinary and involuntary effect upon him ; yet principally 
he wrought by the excitation and provocation of his personal 
distempers moral and natural. For these have in themselves 
a great efficacy in cruciating the minds of guilty persons. 
So Tacitus observes out of Plato ; Annal. lib. 6. ' Neque 
frusta praestantissimus humanas sapientise firmare solitus est, 
si recludantur tyrannorum mentes posse aspici laniatus et 
ictus ; quando ut corpora verberibus ita seevitia, libidine, 
malis consultis animus dilaceretur.' — ' The most eminent 
wise man was not wont in vain to affirm, that if the minds of 
tyrants were laid open and discovered, it would be seen how 
they were cruciated and punished ; seeing that as the body 
is rent and torn by stripes, so is the mind, by cruelty, lusts, 
evil counsels, and undertakings ;' so he, as I suppose from 
Plato de Repub. lib. 9. Where Socrates disputes sundry 
things to that purpose. And another Roman historian gives 
us a signal instance hereof in Jugurtha, after he had con- 
tracted the guilt of many horrible wickednesses 1 . 

And yet this work in itself is of the same kind with what 
God sometimes employs holy angels about, because it is the 
execution of his righteous judgments. So it was a watcher 
and a holy one that in such a case smote Nebuchadnezzar 
with a sudden madness and frenzy; Dan. iv. 13, 14. 

To return ; as he is called the Holy, so he is the Good 
Spirit of God; Psal. cxliii. 10. >3mn nniO inn. ' Thy Spirit 
is good, lead me into the land of uprightness.' So ours. 
Rather, ' Thy good Spirit shall lead me.' Or, as Junius ; 
' Spiritu tuo bono deduc me ;' ' lead me by thy good Spirit/ 
The Chaldee here adds -|ttnip ; ' the good Spirit of thy holi- 
ness;' or ' thy holy good Spirit.' Didymus lib. 2. de Spirit. 
Sane, says, that some copies here read to ayiov, a remem- 
brance whereof is in the MS. of Tecla, and not elsewhere; 
so Nehem. ix. 20. * Thou gavest them nmton inn, that good 
Spirit of thine to instruct them.' And he is called so princi- 
pally from his nature, which is essentially good ; as there is 

• Neque post id locorum Jugurthae dies aut nox ulla quieta fuit ; neque loco ne- 
que mortali cuiquam aut tempori satis credere ; civis hostisque juxta metuere: cir- 
enmspectare omnia et omni strepitupavescere, alioatquc alio loco saspe contra decus 
regium requiescere, interduni sorano excitus amplis animis tunniltuni facere; ita for- 
midine quasi vecordia agitari. Bell. Jugur. 


' none good but one, that is God ;' Matt. xix. 17. as also from 
his operations, which are all good as they are holy ; and 
unto them that believe are full of goodness in their effects. 
Crel. Prolegom. p. 7. distinguished between this good Spirit, 
and the Holy Spirit, or the Holy Ghost. For this good 
Spirit he would confine unto the Old Testament, making- 
it the author or cause of those gifts of wisdom, courage, 
prudence, and government, that were granted unto many of 
the people of old. So it is said of Bezaliel, ' that he was 
filled with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, 
and in knowledge;' Exod. xxxi. 3. So xxxv. 31. that is, 
saith he, with this ' good Spirit of God.' So also it is pre- 
tended in all those places where the Spirit of God is said 
to come on men to enable them unto some great and extra- 
ordinary work ; as Judg. iii. 10. But this is plainly to con- 
tradict the apostle, who tells us, that there are indeed various 
operations, but one Spirit ; and that the one and self-same 
Spirit worketh all these things as he pleaseth. And if from 
every different or distinct effect of the Spirit of God, we 
must multiply spirits, and assign every one of them to a 
distinct spirit, no man will know what to make of the Spirit 
of God at last k . Probably, we shall have so many feigned 
spirits, as to lose the only true one; As to this particular 
instance, David prays that God would ' lead him by his 
good Spirit;' Psal. cxliii. 10. Now certainly this was no 
other but that Holy Spirit which he prays in another place 
that the Lord would not take from him ; Psal. li. 11. ' Take 
not thy Holy Spirit from me,' which is confessed to be the 
Holy Ghost. This he also mentions, 2 Sam. xxiii. 2. ' The 
Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my 
tongue.' And what spirit this was Peter declares, 1 Epist. 
i. 21. ' The holy men of God spake in old time as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost.' So vain is this pretence. 

Again, He is commonly called the Spirit of God, and 
the Spirit of the Lord; so, in the first mention of him, 
Gen. i. 2. CD'nVN nn, ' the Spirit of God, moved on the face of 

k Nemo suspicetur alium Spiritum Sanctum fuisse in Sanctis, nimirum ante ad- 
ventum domini, et alium in apostolis cseterisque discipulis, et quasi noinina in dif- 
ferentibus esse substantiis; possumus quidem testimonia de divinis Uteris exhibere, 
quia idem Spiritus et hi apostolis et in prophetis fuerit. Paulus in epistola quani ad 
Hebrseos scribit, dePsalmorum volumine testimonium proferens, a Spiritu Sancto id 
dictum esse eommemorat. Didym. de Spirit. Sanct. lib. 1. 


the waters.' And I doubt not but that the name DTT^N ' Elo- 
him,' which includes a plurality in the same nature, is used 
in the creation and the whole description of it, to intimate the 
distinction of the divine persons ; for presently upon it the 
name Jehovah is mentioned also ; chap. ii. 4. but so asElohim 
is joined with it. But that name is not used in the account 
given us of the work of creation, because it hath respect 
only unto the unity of the essence of God. Now the Spirit 
is called the Spirit of God, originally and principally, as the 
Son is called the Son of God. For the name of God in 
those enunciations is taken personally for the Father ; that 
is, God the Father, the Father of Christ and our Father ; 
John xx. 17. And he is thus termed viroaraTiKuyg, upon the 
account of the order and nature of personal subsistence and 
distinction in the Holy Trinity. The person of the Father 
being ' Fons et Origo Trinitatis,' the Son is from him by 
eternal generation, and is therefore his Son, the Son of 
God, whose denomination as the Father is originally from 
hence, even the eternal generation of the Son. So is the 
person of the Holy Spirit frojn him by eternal procession 
or emanation. Hence is that relation of his to God even 
the Father, whence he is called the Spirit of God. And he 
is not only called 7rv£ujua tov Qeov, ' the Spirit of God,' but 
irvevfxa to Ik tov 0eov, ' the Spirit that is of God,' which pro- 
ceedeth from him as a distinct person 1 . This therefore arising 
from, and consisting in, his proceeding from him, he is called 
metaphorically the breath of his mouth, as proceeding from 
him by an eternal spiration. On this foundation and sup- 
position, he is also called, secondly, The Spirit of God 
StaKjOirtKwe, to difference him from all other spirits whatever ; 
as, thirdly, also because he is promised, given, and sent of 
God, for the accomplishment of his whole will and pleasure 
towards us. The instances hereof will be afterward con- 
sidered. But these appellations of him have their foun- 
dation in his eternal relation unto the Father before-men- 

On the same account, originally, he is also called the 
Spirit of the Son. ' God hath sent forth the Spirit of the Son 

1 "iva juwote tticous-avTSC %jue~; •mvJfji.aStto'v, vofAiVttJjUEv 51 olntiorira \tye<r§at intZfjia 
Qeov, tlffayti h ypa<f>»t to tnvivfAo. to ayuv, xa\ wgoirTiSflCi tS ©e£, to ex ©eou. *AXXo Se to 
tov ©eou, xa.i <xXAo to ix ©eou. ©eou fx.h yag otjavo? x-ttt yn ii; ntp avrS «rE"arci»^tEva. 'Ex 
©eou Se ovlh Xe>et«i, ei fxh o Ix rr; oinat sVti. Chrysost. de Sp. Sanct. 


into your hearts;' Gal. iv. 6. And the Spirit of Christ: ' what 
time the Spirit of Christ that was in them did signify ;' 
1 Pet. i. 11. So Rom. viii. 9. f But ye are not in the flesh 
but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in 
you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is 
none of his m .' The Spirit therefore of God, and the Spirit 
of Christ, are one and the same. For that hypothetical 
proposition, ' If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is 
none of his,' is an inference taken from the words foregoing ; 
f if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.' And this 
Spirit of Christ, ver. 11. is said to be the f Spirit of him that 
raised up Jesus from the dead.' Look then in what sense 
he is said to be the Spirit of God, that is, of the Father, in 
the same he is said to be the Spirit of the Son. And this 
is because he proceedeth from the Son also. And for no 
other reason can he be so called, at least not without the 
original and formal reason of that appellation. Secondarily, 
I confess he is called the Spirit of Christ, because promised 
by him, sent by him, and that to make effectual and accom- 
plish his work towards the church. But this he could not 
be unless he had antecedently been the Spirit of the Son by 
his proceeding from him also. For the order of the dis- 
pensation of the divine persons towards us, ariseth from the 
order of their own subsistence in the same divine essence. 
And if the Spirit did proceed only from the person of the 
Father, he could not be promised, sent, or given, by the Son. 
Consider therefore the human nature of Christ in itself and 
abstractedly, and the Spirit cannot be said to be the Spirit 
of Christ. For it was anointed and endowed with gifts and 
graces by him, as we shall shew. And if from hence he may 
be said to be the Spirit of Christ, without respect unto his 
proceeding from him as the Son of God, then he may be also 
said to be the Spirit of every believer who hath received 
the unction, or are anointed with his gifts and graces. For 
although believers are so as to measure and degree unspeak- 
ably beneath what Christ was, who received not the Spirit 
by measure; yet as he is the head, and they are the mem- 

m E"7T£g tsmZfAO. QeoZ oike? Iv fyxiv. "ife wnZfjca OeoZ. Ei$s tij <mttvfji.a. X^ittoZ ovk 

f/ii. Kat fX.IV E^Sv E17TE1V, El 5e Tlf TTVEUjUtt ©EOU OVX. Ij£EI, aXX' ElTTE ItnZ/xa XpicTTOU. ElTTS 

©sou tsviv/xa, x,ai t-rthyayi to •miZf/.a. rov Xgicrou. Ei Se tij 'sjviv/j.a. XpicnoZ olx. eyei, 
ootoj ovk 'iartv outou ; aXXa toDto E17TEV, "va $£t£>} oV« h wveZ/xa, xai fo-ov eVtiv liTrEiv 
ifmZfj.0. S(oZ, *al 7mZfj.11. x^a-roZ. Chrysost. de Sp. Sanct. 


bers of the same mystical body, their unction by the Spirit 
is of the same kind. But now the Spirit of God may not be 
said to be the spirit of this or that man who hath received 
of his gifts and graces. David prays, ' Take not thy Holy 
Spirit from me;' not ' my Holy Spirit.' And he is distin- 
guished from our spirits even as they are sanctified by him; 
Rom. viii. 16. 'The Spirit himself beareth witness with our 
spirit.' No more then can he be said to be the Spirit of 
Christ merely upon the account of his communications unto 
him, although in a degree above all others inconceivably 
excellent. For with respect hereunto he is still called the 
Spirit of God or the Father who sent him, and anointed the 
human nature of Christ with him. 

It will be said, perhaps, that he is called the Spirit of 
Christ, because he is promised, given, and poured out by 
him. So Peter speaks, Acts ii. 33. ' Having received of the 
Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth 
this which ye now see and hear.' But in this regard, namely, 
as given by Christ the mediator, he is expressly called the 
Spirit of the Father ; he was given as the promise of the 
Father; for so he is introduced, speaking, ver 17. ' it shall 
come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out 
of my Spirit on all flesh.' And so our Saviour tells his 
disciples, that he would ' pray the Father, and he should 
give them another Comforter, even the Spirit of truth ;' John 
xiv. 16, 17. Nor is he otherwise the Spirit of Christ, origi- 
nally and formally, but as he is the Spirit of God; that is, as 
Christ is God also. On this supposition, I grant as before, 
that he may consequentially be called the Spirit of Christ, 
because promised and sent by him, because doing his 
work, and communicating his grace, image, and likeness, to 
the elect. 

And this is yet more plain ; 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. ' Of which 
salvation the prophets have inquired and searched dili- 
gently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto 
you ; searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of 
Christ which was in them did signify/ And this Spirit is 
said absolutely to be the Holy Ghost; 2 Epist. i. 21. So 
then the Spirit that was in the prophets of old, in all ages 
since the world began, before the incarnation of the Son of 
God. is called the Spirit of Christ, that is, of him who is so. 


Now this could not be, because he was anointed by that 
Spirit, or because he gave it afterward to his disciples ; for 
his human nature did not exist in the time of their prophe- 
sying. Those indeed who receive him after the unction of 
the human nature of Christ, may be said in some sense to 
receive the Spirit of Christ because they are made partakers 
of the same Spirit with him, to the same ends and purposes, 
according to their measure. But this cannot be so with re- 
spect unto them, who lived and prophesied by him, and 
died long before his incarnation. Wherefore it is pleaded 
by those who oppose both the deity of Christ and the Spirit, 
which are undeniably here attested unto, that the Spirit 
here, whereby they cannot deny the Holy Ghost to be in- 
tended, is called the Spirit of Christ, because the prophets of 
old, who spake by him, did principally prophesy concerning 
Christ and his grace, and delivered great mysteries concern- 
ing them. So Christ is made in this place the object of the 
Spirit's teaching, and not the author of his sending. So 
Crell. Prolegom. pp. 13, 14. But why then is he not called 
the Spirit of God also on this reason ; because the prophets 
that speak by him, treated wholly of God, the things and 
the will of God? This they will not say, for they acknow- 
ledge him to be the virtue and power of God, inherent in 
him and proceeding from him. But then whereas God even 
the Father is a person, and Christ is a person, and the Spirit 
is said to be the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ, 
whence doth it appear that the same expression must have 
different interpretations ; and that the Spirit is called the 
Spirit of God, because he is so and proceedeth from him ? 
but the Spirit of Christ, because he is not so, but only 
treateth of him ? The answer is ready ; namely, because the 
Father is God, but Christ is not, and therefore could not 
give the Spirit when he was not. This is an easy answer ; 
namely, to deny a fundamental truth, and to set up that 
denial in an opposition unto a clear testimony given unto 
it. But the truth is, this pretended sense leaves no sense 
at all in the words. For if the Spirit which was in the pro- 
phets be called the Spirit of Christ, only because he did before- 
hand declare the things of Christ, that is, his ' suffering and 
the glory that did ensue ;' and that be the sole reason of that 
denomination, then the sense or importance of the words is 


this, ' searching what or what manner of time the Spirit 
which did signify when it testified beforehand the sufferings 
of Christ which was in them did signify when he testified 
beforehand the sufferings of Christ.' For according- to this 
interpretation, the Spirit of Christ is nothing but the Spirit 
as testifying beforehand of him, and thence alone is he so 
called ; the absurdity whereof is apparent unto all. 

But countenance is endeavoured unto this wresting of 
the Scripture from 1 John iv. 3. f Every spirit that con- 
fesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of 
God ; and this is that of antichrist whereof you have heard 
that it should come, and even now already is it in the 
world.' For say some the spirit of antichrist is said to be 
in the world, when antichrist was not as yet come. But the 
spirit here intended, is not called the spirit of antichrist, 
because it declared and foretold the things of antichrist 
before his coming; on which account alone they allow the 
Spirit of God in the prophets of old to be called the Spirit 
of Christ. They have therefore no countenance from this 
place, which fails them in the principal thing they would 
prove by it. Again, supposing those words, ' whereof you 
have heard that it should come and is now in the world,' are 
to be interpreted of the spirit mentioned and not of anti- 
christ himself, yet no more can be intended, but that the 
false teachers and seducers which were then in the world 
acted with the same spirit, as antichrist should do at his 
coming. And so there is no conformity between these ex- 
pressions. Besides, the spirit of antichrist was then in the 
world, as was antichrist himself; so far as his spirit was 
then in the world, so far was he so also ; for antichrist and 
his spirit cannot be separated. Both he and it were then in 
the world, in their forerunners, who opposed the truth of the 
gospel about the incarnation of the Son of God and his 
sufferings. And indeed the spirit of antichrist in this place, 
is no more but his doctrines ; antichristian doctrine, which 
is to be tried and rejected. Neither is any singular person 
intended by antichrist, but a mysterious opposition unto 
Christ and the gospel, signally headed by a series of men 
in the latter days. He therefore and his spirit began to be 
together in the world in the apostles' days, when the ' mystery 
of iniquity began to work ;' 2 Thess. ii. 7. There is therefore 


no countenance to be taken from these words, unto the per- 
verting and wresting of that other expression concerning 
the Spirit of Christ in the prophets of old. This therefore 
is the formal reason of this appellation. The Holy Spirit is 
called the Spirit of the Son, and the Spirit of Christ, upon 
the account of his procession or emanation from his person 
also. Without respect hereunto he could not be called 
properly the Spirit of Christ ; but on that supposition he 
may be; he is so denominated, from that various relation and 
respect that he hath unto him in his work and operations. 
Thus is the Spirit called in the Scripture, these are the 
names whereby the essence and subsistence of the third person 
in the Holy Trinity are declared. How he is called on the 
account of his offices and operations will be manifested in our 






Ends of our consideration of the dispensation of the Spirit. Principles 
premised thereunto. The nature of God the foundation of all religion. 
Divine revelation gives the rule and measure of religious worship. God 
hath revealed himself as three in one. Distinct actings and operations 
ascribed unto these distinct persons. Therefore the Holy Spirit a divine 
distinct person. Double opposition to the Holy Spirit. By some his per- 
sonality granted, and his Deity denied. His personality denied by the 
Socinians. Proved against them. The open vanity of their pretences. 
Matt, xxviii. 19. pleaded. Appearances of the Spirit under the shape of 
a dove ; explained and improved. His appearance as fire opened. His 
personal subsistence proved. Personal properties assigned unto him. 
Understanding. Argument from hence pleaded and vindicated. A will; 
John iii. 8. James iii. 4. cleared. Exceptions removed. Power. Other 
personal ascriptions to him, with testimonies of them, vindicated and 

We shall now proceed to the matter itself designed unto 
consideration ; namely, the dispensation of the Spirit of God 
unto the church. And I shall endeavour to fix what I have 
to offer, upon its proper principles, and from them to educe 
the whole doctrine concerning it. And this must be so 
done, as to manifest the interest of our faith, obedience, 
and holy worship, in the whole and each part of it. For 
these are the immediate ends of all divine revelations ; ac- 
cording to that holy maxim of our blessed Saviour; ' if you 
know these things, happy are ye if you do them.' To this 
end the ensuing principles are to be observed. 

1 . The nature and being of God, is the foundation of all 
true religion, and holy religious tvorship in the world. The 
great end for which we were made, for which we were 


brought forth by the power of God into this world, is to 
worship him and to give glory unto him. For he made all 
things for himself, or his own glory; Prov. xvi. 4. to be 
rendered unto him according to the abilities and capacities 
that he hath furnished them withal; Rev. iv. 11. And that 
which makes this worship indispensably necessary unto us, 
and from whence it is holy or religious, is the nature and 
being of God himself. There are, indeed, many parts or 
acts of religious worship which immediately respect (as 
their reason and motive), what God is unto us, or what he 
hath done and doth for us. But the principal and adequate 
reason of all divine worship, and that which makes it such, is 
what God is in himself. Because he is, that is, an infinitely 
glorious, good, wise, holy, powerful, righteous, self-subsist- 
ing, self-sufficient, all-sufficient being ; the fountain, cause, 
and author of life and being to all things, and of all that is 
good in every kind; the first cause, last end, and absolutely 
sovereign Lord of all, the rest and all-satisfactory reward of 
all other beings ; therefore, is he by us to be adored and wor- 
shipped with divine and religious worship, hence are we in 
our hearts, minds, and souls, to admire, adore, and love him; 
his praises are we to celebrate; him to trust and fear; and so 
to resign ourselves and all our concernments unto his will 
and disposal ; to regard him with all the acts of our minds 
and persons, answerably to the holy properties and excel- 
lences of his nature. This it is to glorify him, as God. 
For seeing ' of him, and through him, and to him, are all 
things, to him must be glory for ever ;' Rom. xi. 36. Believ- 
ing that God thus is, and that he is a rewarder of them that 
seek him, is the ground of all coming unto God in his wor- 
ship; Heb. xi. 6. And herein lies the sin of men, that the 
' invisible things of God being manifest unto them, even his 
eternal power and Godhead, yet they do not glorify him as 
God;' Rom. i. 21. This is to honour, worship, fear God for 
himself; that is, on the account of what he is himself. 
Where the divine nature is, there is the true, proper, formal 
object of religious worship, and where that is not, it is 
idolatry to ascribe it to or exercise it towards any. And 
this God instructs us in, in all those places where he pro- 
claims his name and describes his eternal excellences, and 
that either absolutely or in comparision with other things. 


All is that we may know him to be such a one, as is to be 
worshipped and glorified for himself, or his own sake. 

Secondly, The revelation that God is pleased to make of himself 
unto us, gives the rule and measure of all religious worship and 
obedience. His being absolutely considered as comprehend- 
ing in it all infinitely divine perfections, is the formal rea- 
son of our worship; but this worship is to be directed, 
guided, regulated, by the revelation he makes of that being, 
and of those excellences unto us. This the end of divine 
revelation; namely, to direct us in paying that homage 
which is due unto the divine nature. I speak not now only 
of positive institutions, which are the free effects of the will 
of God depending originally and solely on revelation, and 
which, therefore, have been various and actually changed. 
But this is that which I intend. Look what way soever 
God manifesteth his being and properties unto us, by his 
works or his word, our worship consisteth in a due applica- 
tion of our souls unto him according to that manifestation 
of himself. 

Thirdly, God hath revealed or manifested himself as three in 
one. And, therefore, as such is to be worshipped and glo- 
rified by us ; that is, as three distinct persons, subsisting 
in the same infinitely holy one undivided essence. This 
principle might be, and had not that labour been obviated, 
ought to have been here at large confirmed, it being that 
which the whole ensuing discourse doth presuppose and 
lean upon. And in truth I fear that the failing of some 
men's profession begins with their relinquishment of this 
foundation. It is now evident unto all, that here hath been 
the fatal miscarriage of those poor deluded souls amongst 
us whom they call Quakers. And it is altogether in vain 
to deal with them about other particulars, whilst they are 
carried away with infidelity from this foundation. Convince 
any of them of the doctrine of the Trinity, and all the rest 
of their imaginations vanish into smoke : and I wish it were 
so with them only. There are others, and those not a few, 
who either reject the doctrine of it as false, or despise it as 
unintelligible, or neglect it as useless, or of no great import- 
ance. I know this ulcer lies hid in the minds of many, and 
cannot but expect when it will break out and cover the 
whole body with its defilements, whereof they are members. 


But these things are left to the care of Jesus Christ. The 
reason why I shall not in this place insist professedly on the 
confirmation and vindication of this fundamental truth, is 
because I have done it elsewhere, as having more than once 
publicly cast my mite into this sanctuary of the Lord; for 
which, and the like services wherein I stand indebted unto 
the gospel, I have met with that reward which I did always 
expect. For the present I shall only say, that on this sup- 
position that God hath revealed himself as three in one ; he 
is in all our worship of him so to be considered. And, 
therefore, in our initiation into the profession and practice 
of the worship of God, according to the gospel, we are in 
our baptism engaged to it, ' In the name of the Father, 
the Son, and the Holy Ghost;' Matt, xxviii. 19. This 
is the foundation of our doing all the things that Christ 
commands us, as ver. 20. Unto this service we are solemnly 
dedicated, namely, of God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; 
as they are each of them equally participant of the same 
divine nature. 

Fourthly, These persons are so distinct in their peculiar sub- 
sistence, that distinct actings and operations are ascribed unto 
them. And these actings are of two sorts; 1. Ad intra, 
which are those internal acts in one person whereof another 
person is the object. And these acts ad invicem, or intra, 
are natural and necessary, inseparable from the being and 
existence of God. So the Father knows the Son, and loveth 
him, and the Son seeth, knoweth, and loveth the Father. In 
these mutual actings, one person is the object of the know- 
ledge and love of the other. John iii. 35. ' The Father 
loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.' 
v.20. 'The Father loveth the Son.' Matt. xi. 27. 'No man 
knoweth the Son but the Father, neither knoweth any man 
the Father save the Son.' John vi. 46. 'None hath seen the 
Father save he which is of God he hath seen the Father.' 
This mutual knowledge and love of Father and Son is ex- 
pressed at large, Prov. viii. 22. which place I have opened 
and vindicated elsewhere. And they are absolute, infinite, 
natural, and necessary, unto the being and blessedness of 
God. So the Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and 
the Son, knowing them as he is known, and ' searching the 
deep things of God.' And in these mutual internal eternal 


actings of themselves, consists much of the infinite blessed- 
ness of the holy God. Again, 2. There are distinct actings 
of the several persons, ad extra, which are voluntary or effects 
of will and choice, and not natural or necessary. And these 
are of two sorts. (1.) Such as respect one another. For 
there are external acts of one person towards another; but 
then the person that is the object of these actings is not 
considered absolutely as a divine person, but with respect 
unto some peculiar dispensation and condescension. So 
the Father gives, sends, commands the Son, as he had con- 
descended to take our nature upon him, and to be the medi- 
ator between God and man. So the Father and the Son do 
send the Spirit, as he condescends in an especial manner to 
the office of being the Sanctifier and Comforter of the church. 
Now these are free and voluntary acts, depending upon the 
sovereign will, counsel, and pleasure of God, and might not 
have been without the least diminution of his eternal bless- 
edness. (2.) There are especial acts, ad extra, towards the 
creatures*. This the whole Scripture testifieth unto, so that 
it is altogether needless to confirm it with particular in- 
stances. None who have learned the first principles of the 
doctrine of Christ, but can tell you what works are ascribed 
peculiarly to the Father, what to the Son, and what to the 
Holy Ghost. Besides this will be manifested afterward in 
all the distinct actings of the Spirit, which is sufficient for 
our purpose. 

Fifthly, Hence it follows unavoidably, that this Spirit of 
whom we treat, is in himself a distinct, living, powerful, ««- 
telligent, divine person; for none other can be the author of 
those internal and external divine acts and operations which 
are ascribed unto him. But here I must stay a little, and 
confirm that foundation which we build upon. For we are in 
the investigation of those things which that one and self- 
same Spirit distributeth according to his own will. And it is 
indispensably necessary unto our present design, that we in- 
quire who, and what, that one and self-same Spirit is; seeing 
on him and his will all these things do depend. And we do 

a In bac divini magisterii schola, Pater est qui docet et instruit ; Filius qui arcana 
Dei nobis revelat et apperit, Spiritus Sanctus qui nos replet etimbuit.  A Patre po- 
tentiam, a Filio sapientiam.a Spiritu Sancto accipimus innocentiara; Pater eligit, Fi- 
lius diligit, Spiritus Sanctus conjungit et unit. Cyprian, de Baptismo Christi. 



know likewise, that if men prevail in the opposition they make 
unto his person, it is to no great purpose to concern our- 
selves in his operations. For the foundation of any fabric 
being taken away, the superstructure will be of no use nor 

The opposition that is made in the world against the 
Spirit of God doctrinally, may be reduced unto two heads. 
For some there are who grant his personality, or that he is a 
distinct self-subsisting person; but they deny his Deity, deny 
him to be a participant of the divine nature, or will not allow 
him to be God. A created finite spirit they say he is, but 
the chiefest of all spirits that were created, and the head of 
all the good angels. Such a spirit they say there is, and 
that he is called the Spirit of God, or the Holy Ghost, upon 
the account of the work wherein he is employed. This 
way went the Macedonian heretics of old, and they are 
now followed by the Mahometans ; and some of late among 
ourselves have attempted to revive the same frenzy. But 
we shall not need to trouble ourselves about this notion. 
The folly of it is so evident, that it is almost by all utterly 
deserted. For such things are affirmed of the Holy Ghost 
in the Scripture, as that to assert his personality and deny his 
Deity, is the utmost madness that any one can fall into in 
spiritual things. Wherefore, the Socinians, the present 
great enemies of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and who 
would be thought to go soberly about the work of destroy- 
ing the church of God, do utterly reject this plea and pre- 
tence. But that which they advance in the room of it is of 
no less pernicious nature and consequence. For granting 
the things assigned to him to be the effects of divine power, 
they deny his personality ; and assert that what is called by 
the name of the Spirit of God, or the Holy Spirit, is nothing 
but a quality in the divine nature, or the power that God 
puts forth for such and such purposes, which yet is no new 
invention of theirs b . I do not design here professedly to 
contend with them about all the concernments of this dif- 
ference; for there is nothing of importance in all their pre- 

b Htec autem omnia operatur unus atque idem Spiritus, dividens singulis prout 
vult ; unde discentes operatriceni et ut ita dicam distributricem naturam Spiritus 
Sancti ; non abducamur ab his qui dicunt, operationem et non substanliam Dei esse 
Spiriluuj Sanctum. Et ex aliis quoque plurimis locis subsistens natura demonstratur 
Spiritus Sancti. Didym. de Spirit. Sanct. lib. 2. 


fences or exceptions, but it will in one place or other occur 
unto consideration in our progress ; I shall only at present 
confirm the divine personality of the Holy Ghost with one 
argument; which I will not say is such as no man can re- 
turn the show of an answer unto; for what is it that the 
serpentine wits of men will not pretend an answer unto, for 
an exception against, if their lusts and prejudices require 
them so to do? But I will boldly say, it is such as that the 
gates of hell shall never prevail against it in the hearts of 
true believers, the strengthening of whose faith is all that in 
it I do aim at. And if it doth not unto all unprejudiced 
persons evince the truth and reality of the divine personality 
of the Holy Ghost, it must certainly convince all men, that 
nothing which is taught or delivered in the Scripture can 
possibly be understood. 

One consideration which hath in part been before pro- 
posed I shall premise, to free the subject of our argument 
from ambiguity. And this is, that this word or name Spirit 
is used sometimes to denote the Spirit of God c himself, and 
sometimes his gifts and graces, the effects of his operations 
on the souls of men. And this our adversaries in this 
cause are forced to confess, and thereon in all their writings 
distinguish between the Holy Spirit and his effects. This 
alone being supposed, I say it is impossible to prove the 
Father to be a person, or the Son to be so, both which are 
acknowledged any other way, than we may and do prove 
the Holy Ghost to be so. For he to whom all personal pro- 
perties, attributes, adjuncts, acts, and operations are ascribed, and 
unto whom they do belong, and to whom nothing is or can be truly 
and properly ascribed, but what may and doth belong unto a per- 
son, he is a person, and him are we taught to believe so to be. 
So know we the Father to be a person, as also the Son. 
For our knowledge of things is more by their properties and 
operations, than by their essential forms. Especially is this 
so with respect to the nature, being, and existence of God, 
which are in themselves absolutely incomprehensible. Now 

c 'ETTElS^TTEp TO 5o>£0U|UEV0V TO WnZfJta TO aj/lOV £S"TI XaXiiTCti Kat TO SipOV 0fJ.0O\IV[A.ti)q rSi 

Xctfig-fxaTi. Cbrysost. 

Nee existimare dcbemus Spiritual Sanctum secundum substantias esse divisum 
quia niultitudo bonorum dicatur — impassibilis enim et indivisibilis atque imniutabilis 
est, sed juxta differentes efficientias et intellcctus multis bonorum vocabulis nuncu- 
patur; quia participes suos, non juxta unam eandemque virlutem communione soi 
donet. Quippe cum ad utilitatem iiniuscujusque aptus sit. Didym. lib. 1. 

F 2 


I shall not confirm the assumption of this argument with 
reference unto the Holy Ghost from this or that particular 
testimony, nor from the assignation of any single personal 
property unto him, but from the constant uniform tenor of 
the Scripture in ascribing all these properties unto him. 
And we may add hereunto, that things are so ordered in 
the wisdom of God, that there is no personal property that 
maybe found in an infinite divine nature, but it is in one place 
or other ascribed unto him. 

There is no exception can be laid against the force of 
this argument, but only that some things on the one hand 
are ascribed unto the Spirit which belong not unto a person, 
nor can be spoken of him who is so; and on the other, that 
sundry things that properly belong to persons are in the 
Scripture figuratively ascribed unto such things as are not 
so. Thus, as to the first head of this exception, the Holy 
Spirit is said to be ' poured out,' to be ' shed abroad,' to be ' an 
unction/ or the like ; of all which expressions we shall treat 
afterward. What, then, shall we say, that he is not a per- 
son, but only the power of God ? Will this render those ex- 
pressions concerning him proper? How can the virtue of 
God, or the power of God, be said to be poured out, to be 
shed abroad, and the like? Wherefore both they and we ac- 
knowledge that these expressions are figurative, as many 
things are so expressed of God in the Scripture, and that 
frequently ; and what is the meaning ' of them under their 
figurative colours we shall afterward declare. This, there- 
fore, doth not in the least impeach our argument, unless 
this assertion were true generally; that whatever is spoken 
of figuratively in the Scripture is no person; which would 
leave no one in heaven or earth. On the other side it is 
confessed, that there are things peculiar unto rational sub- 
sistents or persons, which are ascribed sometimes unto those 
that are not so. Many things of this nature, as 'to 'hope,' to 
' believe,' to 'bear,' are ascribed unto charity ; 1 Cor. xiii. But 
every one presently apprehends that this expression is figu- 
rative; the abstract being put for the concrete, by a meta- 
lepsis; and charity is said to do that, which a man endued 
with that grace will do. So the Scripture is said to 'see,' to 
' foresee,' to ' speak,' and to 'judge,' which are personal act- 
ings ; but who doth not see and grant that a metonymy, is and 


must be allowed in such assignations ; that being ascribed 
unto the effect, the Scripture, which is proper to the cause, 
the Spirit of God speaking in it. So the heavens and the 
earth are said to 'hear/ and the ' fields with the trees of the 
forest to sing and clap their hands, by a prosopopeia. Now 
concerning these things there is no danger of mistake. The 
light of reason and their own nature therein, do give us a 
sufficient understanding; of them. And such figurative ex- 
pressions as are used concerning them, are common in all 
good authors. Besides, the Scripture itself in other places 
innumerable doth so teach and declare what they are, as 
that its plain and direct proper assertions do sufficiently 
expound its own figurative enunciations. For these and 
such like ascriptions are only occasional, the direct descrip- 
tion of the things themselves is given us in other places. 
But now with respect unto the Spirit of God all things are 
otherwise. The constant uniform expressions concerning 
him, are such as declare him to be a person endowed with 
all personal properties ; no description being any where given 
of him inconsistent with their proper application to him. 

If a sober, wise, and honest man, should come and tell 
you, that in such a country where he hath been, there is one 
who is the governor of it that doth well discharge his office; 
that he heareth causes, discerneth right, distributes justice, 
relieves the poor, comforts them that are in distress; suppos- 
ing you gave him that credit which honesty, wisdom, and so- 
briety, do deserve, would you not believe that he intended 
a righteous, wise, diligent, intelligent person, discharging the 
office of a governor? What else could any man living ima- 
gine ? But now suppose that another unknown person, or so 
far as he is known justly suspected of deceit and forgery, 
should come unto you and tell you, that all which the other 
informed you and acquainted you withal was indeed true ; 
but that the words which he spake have quite another inten- 
tion. For it was not a man or any person that he intended, 
but it w r as the sun or the wind that he meant by all which he 
spake of him. For whereas the sun by his benign influences 
doth make a country fruitful and temperate, suited to the 
relief and comfort of all that dwell therein, and disposeth the 
minds of the inhabitants unto mutual kindness and benis;- 
nity ; he described these things figuratively unto you, under 


the notion of a righteous governor and his actions, although 
he never gave you the least intimation of any such intention. 
Must you not now believe that either the first person, whom 
you know to be a wise, sober, and honest man, was a noto- 
rious trifler, and designed your ruin if you were to order any 
of your occasions according to his reports ; or that your lat- 
ter informer, whom you have just reason to suspect of false- 
hood and deceit in other things, hath endeavoured to abuse 
both him and you ; to render his veracity suspected, and to 
spoil all your designs grounded thereon. One of these you 
must certainly conclude upon. And it is no otherwise in 
this case. The Scripture informs us, that the Holy Ghost 
rules in and over the church of God, appointing overseers of 
it under him; that he discerns and judgeth all things; that he 
comforteth them that are faint, strengthens them that are 
weak, is grieved with them and provoked by them who sin ; 
and that in all these, and in other things of the like nature 
innumerable, he worketh, ordereth, and disposeth all accord- 
ing to the 'counsel of his own will.' Hereupon it directeth 
us so to order our conversation towards God, that we do not 
grieve him nor displease him; telling us thereon what great 
things he will do for us, on which we lay the stress of our 
obedience and salvation. Can any man, possibly, that gives 
credit to the testimony thus proposed in the Scripture, con- 
ceive any otherwise of this Spirit, but as of a holy, wise, in- 
telligent, person. Now, whilst we are under the power of 
these apprehensions, there come unto us some men, Soci- 
nians or Quakers, whom we have just cause on many other 
accounts to suspect at least of deceit and falsehood ; and 
they confidently tell us that what the Scripture speaks con- 
cerning the Holy Spirit is indeed true ; but that in and by 
all the expressions which it useth concerning him, it intend- 
eth no such person as it seems to do, but an accident, a 
quality, an effect, or influence, of the power of God, which 
figuratively doth all the things mentioned; namely, that hath 
a will figuratively, and understanding figuratively, discerneth 
and judgeth figuratively, is sinned against figuratively, and 
so of all that is said of him. Can any man that is not for- 
saken of all natural reason as well as spiritual light, choose 
now but determine that either the Scripture designed to 
draw him into errors and mistakes about the principal con- 


cernments of his soul, and so to ruin him eternally ; or that 
these persons who would impose such a sense upon it, are 
indeed corrupt seducers that seek to overthrow his faith and 
comforts ? Such will they at last appear to be : I shall now 
proceed to confirm the argument proposed. 

1. All things necessary to this purpose are comprised in 
the solemn form of our initiation into covenant with God. 
Matt, xxviii. 19. Our Lord Jesus Christ commands his 
apostles to disciple all nations, 'baptizing them in the name 
of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.' This is 
the foundation we lay of all our obedience and profession 
which are to be regulated by this initial engagement. Now 
no man will or doth deny but that the Father and the Son 
are distinct persons. Some indeed there are who deny the 
Son to be God ; but none are so mad as to deny him to be 
a person, though they would have him only to be a man. 
All grant him, whether God and man, or only man, to be a 
distinct person from the Father. Now what confusion must 
this needs introduce, to add to them and to join equally with 
them, as to all the concerns of our faith and obedience, the 
Holy Ghost, if he be not a divine person even as they? If, 
as some fancy, he be a person indeed, but not one that is di- 
vine but a creature, then here is openly the same honour as- 
signed unto him who is no more, as unto God himself. This 
elsewhere the Scripture declares to be idolatry to be de- 
tested ; Gal. i. 8. Rom. i. 25. And if he be not a person, 
but a virtue and quality in God, and emanation of power 
from him, concerning which our adversaries TeparoXoyovat, 
speak things portentous and unintelligible, what sense can 
any man apprehend in the words ? 

Besides, whatever is ascribed unto the other persons, ei- 
ther with respect unto themselves or our duty towards them, is 
equally ascribed unto the Holy Ghost. For whatsoever is in- 
tended by the name of the Father and the Son, he is equally 
with them concerned therein. It is not the name Father, 
and the name Son, but the name of God, that is of them 
both, that is intended. It is a name common to them all, 
and distinctly applied unto them all ; but they have not in 
this sense distinct or divers names. And by the name of 
God, either his being or his authority is signified ; for other 
intention of it none have been able to invent. Take the 


name here in either sense, and it is sufficient as to what we 
intend. For if it be used in the first way, then the being 
of the Spirit must be acknowledged to be the same with 
that of the Father. If in the latter, he hath the same divine 
authority with him. He who hath the nature and authority 
of God is God, is a divine person. 

Our argument then from hence, is not merely from his 
being joined with the Father and the Son; for so as to some 
ends and purposes any creatures may be joined with them. 
This our adversaries prove from Acts xx. 32. Ephes. vi. 10. 
Phil. iii. 10. 2 Thess. i. 9. and might do it from other places 
innumerable, although the first of these will not confirm 
what it is produced to give countenance unto : Schlicting. 
de Trinitat. ad. Meisner. p. 605. But it is from the manner 
and end of his being conjoined with the Father and the 
Son, wherein their name, that is, their divine nature and 
authority, are ascribed unto him, that we argue. 

Again, We are said to be baptized, etc to ovofxa, ' into his 
name.' And no sense can be affixed unto these words, but 
what doth unavoidably include his personality. For two 
things they may and do intend, nor any thing else but what 
may be reduced unto them. First, Our religious owning the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in all our divine worship, 
faith, and obedience. Now as we own and avow the one, 
so we do the other; for we are alike baptized into their 
name, d equally submitting to their authority, and equally 
taking the profession of their name upon us. If then we 
avow and own the Father as a distinct person, so we do the 
Holy Ghost. Again, by being baptized into the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we are 
sacredly initiated and consecrated, or dedicated, unto the 
service and worship of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 
This we take upon us in our baptism. Herein lies the 
foundation of all our faith and profession, with that engage- 
ment of ourselves unto God which constitutes our Chris- 
tianity. This is the pledge of our entrance into covenant with 
God, and of our giving up ourselves unto him in the solemn 
bond of religion. Herein to conceive that any one who is 
not God as the Father is, who is not a person as he is also 

d Baptizate gentes in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. In nomine dixit, 
non in nominibus. Non ergo aliud noraen Patris, aliud nomen Filii, aliud nomcn 
Spiritus Sancti, quam unus Deus. Ambros. de Sp. Sanct. lib. 1. cap, 4. 


and the Son likewise, is joined with them for the ends and 
in the manner mentioned, without the least note of differ- 
ence as to Deity or personality, is a strange fondness, de- 
structive of all religion, and leading; the minds of men to- 
wards polytheism. And as we engage into all religious 
obedience unto the Father and Son herein, to believe in 
them, trust, fear, honour, and serve them, so we do the 
same with respect unto the Holy Ghost ; which how we can 
do, if he be not as they are, no man can understand. 

We do not then, in this case, from hence merely plead 
our being baptized into the Holy Ghost, as some pretend. 
Nor indeed are we said so to be. Men may figuratively be 
said to be baptized into a doctrine, when their baptism is a 
pledge and token of their profession of it. So the disciples 
whom the apostle Paul met withal at Ephesus, Acts xix. 3. 
are said to be baptized elg to Iwavvov (iairnafxa, into ' the 
baptism of John ;' that is, the doctrine of repentance for 
the forgiveness of sins, whereof his baptism was a pledge. 
So also the Israelites are said to be baptized tig Mwuo-jjv ' into 
Moses,' 1 Cor. x. 2. because he led and conducted them 
through the sea, when they were sprinkled with the waves 
of it as a token of their initiation into the rites and cere- 
monies which he was to deliver unto them. But we are said 
to be baptized into his name, which is the same with that 
of the Father and Son. And certainly this proposal of God 
as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to be the object of all our 
faith and worship, and our engagement hereunto required as 
the foundation of all our present religion and future hopes, 
being made unto us, and that under one and the same name; 
if the doctrine of a Trinity of persons subsisting in the same 
undivided essence be not taught and declared in these words, 
we may justly despair of ever having any divine mystery 
manifested unto us. 

2. His appearance in, and under, a visible sign argues his 
personal existence. This is related, Matt. iii. 16. Luke iii. 22. 
John i. 32. Luke speaks first in general that he descended, 
Iv tidtt awfiaTtKio ' in a bodily shape/ or appearance. And 
they all agree that it was the shape of a dove under which 
he appeared. The words in Matthew are, tice to Trvtv/jia tov 
Oeov KOTa|3a7vov wcru TrepicrTspav kol Ipypfiivov Itt avrov. He 
' saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting 


(or rather coming) upon him.' He, that is John the Baptist, 
not Christ himself. The relative avrog, refers in this place 
to the more remote antecedent. For although he, that is 
Christ himself, also saw the descending of the Holy Spirit, 
yet I suppose this relates unto that token which was to be 
given of him unto John, whereby he should know him ; 
John i. 32, 33. The following words are ambiguous. For 
that expression, ' like a dove,' may refer to the manner of his 
descending ; descending (in a bodily shape) as a dove de- 
scends. Or they may respect the manner of his appearance ; 
he appeared like a dove descending. And this sense is de- 
termined in the other evangelists, to the bodily shape wherein 
he descended. He took the form or shape of a dove, to 
make a visible representation of himself by. For a visible 
pledge was to be given of the coming of the Holy Ghost on 
the Messiah, according to the promise; and thereby did God 
direct his great forerunner to the knowledge of him. Now 
this was no real dove. That would not have been a thing 
so miraculous as this appearance of the Holy Ghost is re- 
presented to be. And the text will not bear any such ap- 
prehension, though it was entertained by some of the an- 
cients. For it is evident that this shape of a dove came out 
of heaven. He saw the ' heavens opened and the dove de- 
scending,' that is, out of heaven, which was opened to make 
way, as it were, for him. Moreover, the expression of the 
opening of the heavens is not used but with respect unto 
some appearance or manifestation of God himself. And so, 
or (which is the same) the bowing of the heavens, is often 
used; Psal. cxliv. 5. Isa. Ixiv. 1. 'Bow thy heavens, O 
Lord, and come down;' 2 Sam. xxii. 10. Ezek. i. 1. The 
* heavens were opened, and I saw the visions of God ;' so 
Acts vii. 56. God used not this sign but in some manifes- 
tation of himself. And had not this been an appearance of 
God, there had been no need of bowing or opening the 
heavens for it. And it is plainly said that it was not a dove, 
but the shape or representation of a dove. It was tiSog 
crcofxaTiKov, ' a bodily shape,' and that TrepiafTepag, of a dove. 
As then at the beginning of the old creation, the Spirit 
of God, nsmo -' incubabat,' came and fell on the waters, 
cherishing the whole, and communicating a prolific and 
vivific quality unto it, as a fowl or dove in particular, gently 


moves itself upon its eggs, until, with and by its generative 
warmth, it hath communicated vital heat unto them ; so now 
at the entrance of the new creation, he comes as a dove upon 
him who was the immediate author of it, and virtually com- 
prised it in himself, carrying it on by virtue of his presence 
with him. And so this is applied in the Syriac ritual of 
baptism composed by Severinus, in the account given of the 

baptism of Christ, tyi nnm nmD wi r-nrro K2H>pn xnni 

nsm N'O *7V rrtDitf N*m \Wn * And the Spirit of holiness 
descended, flying in the likeness of a dove, and rested upon 
him, and moved on the waters.' And in the assumption of 
this form there may be some "respect unto the dove that 
brought tidings to Noah of the ceasing of the flood of 
waters, and of the ending of the wrath of God, who thereon 
said that he would ' curse the earth no more ;' Gen. viii. 11. 
For herein also was there a significant representation of him 
who visited poor lost mankind in their cursed condition, and 
proclaimed peace unto them that would return to God by 
him the great peacemaker; Ephes. ii. 49, 50. And this 
work he immediately engaged into on the resting of this 
dove upon him. Besides, there is a natural aptness in that 
creature to represent the Spirit that rested on the Lord 
Jesus. For the known nature and course of a dove is such, 
as is meet to mind us of purity and harmless innocency ; 
Matt. x. 16. Hence is that direction, * Be harmless as doves/ 
So also the sharpness of its sight or eyes, as Cant. i. 16. 
iv. 1. is fixed on, to represent a quick and discerning under- 
standing, such as was in Christ from the resting of the Spirit 
upon him; Isa. xi. 3. 

The shape thereof that appeared was that of a dove ; but 
the substance itself I judge was of a fiery nature, an ethereal 
substance shaped into the form or resemblance of a dove. 
It had the shape of a dove, but not the appearance of fea- 
thers, colours, or the like. This also rendered the appear- 
ance the more visible, conspicuous, heavenly, and glorious. 
And the Holy Ghost is often compared to fire, because he 
was of old typified or represented thereby. For on the first 
solemn offering of sacrifices, there came fire from the Lord 
for the kindling of them. Hence Theodotion of old rendered 
mrv yw% Gen. iv. 4. 'the Lord had respect to the offering 
of Abel ;' by ivarvpicrev 6 Qebg, * God fired the offering of 


Abel ;' sent down fire that kindled his sacrifice as a token of 
his acceptance. However, it is certain that at the first erec- 
tion of the altar in the wilderness, upon the first sacrifices, 
fire came out from before the Lord, and consumed on the 
altar the burnt-offering and the fat ; which when all the peo- 
ple saw, they shouted and fell on their faces ; Lev. ix. 24. 
And the fire kindled hereby was to be perpetuated on the 
altar, so that none was ever to be used in sacrifice but what 
was traduced from it. For a neglect of this intimation of 
the mind of God, were Nadab and Abihu consumed ; chap. 
x. 1. So was it also upon the dedication of the altar in the 
temple of Solomon. ' Fire came down from heaven and con- 
sumed the burnt-offering;' 2 Chron. vii. 1. and a fire thence 
kindled, was always kept burning on the altar. And in like 
manner God bare testimony to the ministry of Elijah; 
1 Kings xviii. 38, 39. God by all these signified, that no 
sacrifices were accepted with him, where faith was not kin- 
dled in the heart of the offerer by the Holy Ghost, repre- 
sented by the fire that kindled the sacrifices on the altar. 
And in answer hereunto is our Lord Jesus Christ said to offer 
himself through the eternal Spirit ;' Heb. ix. 14. It was there- 
fore most probably a fiery appearance that was made. And 
in the next bodily shape which he assumed, it is expressly 
said that it was fiery; Acts ii.3. 'There appeared unto them 
cloven tongues like as of fire:' which was the visible token 
of the coming of the Holy Ghost upon them. And he chose 
then that figure of tongues, to denote the assistance, which 
by the miraculous gift of speaking with divers tongues, to- 
gether with that wisdom and utterance, which he furnished 
them withal for the publication of the gospel. And thus also 
the Lord Christ is said to baptize ' with the Holy Ghost and 
with fire;' Matt. iii. 11. Not two things are intended, but 
the latter words ' and with fire' are added l^ynTtKwg, and the 
expression is iv Sta Svoiv ; with the Holy Ghost, who is a 
spiritual, divine, eternal fire. So God absolutely is said to 
be a ' consuming fire ;' Heb. xii. 29. Deut. iv. 24. And as 
in these words, ' He shall baptize with the Holy Ghost and 
with fire,' there is a prospect unto what came to pass after- 
ward, when the apostles received the Holy Ghost with a vi- 
sible pledge of fiery tongues ; so there seems to be a retro- 


spect by way of allusion unto what is recorded, Isa. vi. 6, 7. 
For a living or ' fiery coal from the altar/ where the fire re- 
presented the Holy Ghost or his work' and grace, having 
touched the lips of his prophet, his sin was taken away both 
as to the o-uilt and filth of it. And this is the work of the 
Holy Ghost ; who not only sanctifieth us, but by ingenera- 
ting faith in us., and the application of the promise unto us, 
is the cause and means of our justification also, 1 Cor. vi. 11. 
Tit. iii. 4 — 7. whereby our sins on both accounts are taken 
away. So also his efficacy in other places is compared unto 
fire and burning ; Isa. iv. 4, 5. ' When the Lord shall have 
washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have 
purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof, by 
the spirit of judgment, and the spirit of burning.' He is com- 
pared both to fire and water, with respect unto the same 
cleansing virtue in both. So also Mai. iii. 2. Hence as this 
is expressed, ' by the Holy Ghost and fire' m two evangelists, 
Matt. iii. 11. Luke iii. 16. so in the other two there is men- 
tion only of the Holy Ghost ; Mark viii. John i. 33. the same 
thing being intended. I have added these things, a little 
to clear the manner of this divine appearance, which also 
belongs unto the economy of the Spirit. 

Now I say that this appearance of the Holy Ghost in a 
bodily shape, wherein he was represented by that which is 
a substance and hath a subsistence of his own, doth mani- 
fest that he himself is a substance and hath a subsistence 
of his own. For if he be no such thing, but a mere 
influential effect of the power of God, we are not taught 
right apprehensions of him but mere mistakes by this 
appearance. For of such an accident there can be no sub- 
stantial figure or resemblance made, but what is monstrous. 
It is excepted by our adversaries, (Crell. de Natur. Spirit. 
Sanct.) that a dove is no person, because not endued with an 
understanding which is essentially required unto the consti- 
tution of a person. And therefore they say no argument can 
thence be taken for the personality of the Holy Ghost. But 
it is enough that he was represented by a subsisting sub- 
stance ; which if they will grant him to be, we shall quickly 
evince that he is endued with a divine understanding, and 
so is completely a person. And whereas they farther object, 
that if the Holy Ghost in the appearance intended to mani- 


fest himself to be a divine person, he would have appeared 
as a man, who is a person, for so God or an angel in his name 
appeared under the Old Testament ; it is of no more import- 
ance than the preceding exception. The Holy Ghost did 
manifest himself as it seemed good unto him ; and some 
reasons for the instructive use of the shape of a fiery dove, 
we have before declared. Neither did God of old appear 
only in a human shape. He did so sometimes in a burning 
fiery bush ; Exod. iii. 2. 4. Sometimes in a pillar of fire, or 
a cloud ; Exod. xiv. 24. Moreover the appearances of God, 
as I have elsewhere demonstrated, under the Old Testament, 
were all of them of the second person ; and he assumed a 
human shape as a preludium unto, and a signification of, 
his future personal assumption of our nature. No such thing 
being intended by the Holy Ghost, he might represent him- 
self under what shape he pleased. Yea, the representation 
of himself under a human shape had been dangerous and 
unsafe for us. For it would have taken off the use of those 
instructive appearances under the Old Testament, teaching 
the incarnation of the Son of God ; and also that sole rea- 
son of such appearances being removed, namely, that they 
had all respect unto the incarnation of the second person, 
as they would have been by the like appearance of the third, 
there would have been danger of giving a false idea of the 
Deity unto the minds of men. For some might from thence 
have conceived that God had a bodily shape like unto us, 
when none could ever be so fond as to imagine him to be 
like a dove. And these with the like testimonies in general 
are given unto the divine personality of the Holy Spirit. I 
shall next consider those personal properties which are parti- 
cularly and distinctly ascribed unto him. 

First, Understanding or wisdom, which is the first insepa- 
rable property of an intelligent subsistence, is so ascribed 
unto him in the acts and effects of it ; 1 Cor. ii. 10. ' The 
Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God.' 
What Spirit it is that is intended is declared expressly, 
ver. 12. * For we have not received to irvivfia tov koct/jlov 
the spirit of the world,' are not acted by the evil spirit, liXXa 
~b TTvcv/jLa to k Oeov, ' but that Spirit which is of God ;' a 
signal description of the Holy Ghost. So he is called 'his 
Spirit/ ver. 10. God hath revealed these things unto us by 


his Spirit. Now to search is an act of understanding. And 
the Spirit is said to search, because he knoweth; ver. 11. 
' No man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of a 
man :' which is intimate unto all its own thoughts and coun- 
sels. So the ' things of God knoweth no man but the Spi- 
rit of God ;' and by him are they revealed unto us, for by him 
we know the things ' that are freely given us of God ;' ver. 12. 
These things cannot be spoken of any but a person endued 
with understanding. And he thus * searcheth ra fiaSt) tov 
Qeov the deep things of God ;' that is, the mysteries of his 
will, counsel, and grace ; and is, therefore, a divine person 
that hath an infinite understanding. As it is said of God, 
irmsnb "ipn \>X, Isa. xl. 28. ' There is no end,' measure, or 
investigation, ' of his understanding/ Psal. cxlvii.5. There is 
'no number of his understanding ;' it is endless, boundless, 
infinite. It is excepted (Schilicting. de Trinitat. p. 605.) 
that the ' Spirit is not here taken for the Spirit himself, nor 
doth the apostle express what the Spirit himself doth, but 
what by the assistance of the Holy Ghost men are enabled 
to do.' By that believers are helped to search into the deep 
counsels of God. But as this exception is directly against 
the words of the text, so the context will by no means admit 
of it. For the apostle giveth an account how the wisdom, 
counsels, and deep things of God, which the world could 
not understand, were now preached and declared unto the 
church. God, saith he, hath ' revealed them unto us by the 
Spirit.' But how cometh the Spirit himself, the author of 
these revelations, to be acquainted with these things ? This 
he hath from his own nature, whereby he knoweth or search- 
eth all things, even the deep things of God. It is therefore 
the revelation made by the Spirit unto the apostles and pen- 
men of the Scripture of the New Testament, who were ' act- 
ed by the Holy Ghost' in like manner as were the holy men 
of old, 1 Pet. i. 21. which the apostle intendeth, and not the 
illumination and teaching of believers in the knowledge of 
the mysteries by them revealed, whereof the apostle treat- 
eth in these words. But who is this Spirit? The same apo- 
stle tells us, that the 'judgments of God are unsearchable, 
and his ways past finding out ;' Rom. xi. 33. And asketh, 
' who hath known the mind of the Lord, or who hath been 
his counsellor?' ver. 34. And yet this- Spirit is said 'to 


search all things, even the deep things of God ;' such as to 
all creatures are absolutely unsearchable and past finding 
out. This then is the Spirit of God himself, who is God 
also. For so it is in the prophet from whence these words 
are taken. Who hath ' directed the Spirit of the Lord, or 
being his counsellor hath taught him?' Isa. xl. 13. 

It will not relieve the adversaries of the Holy Ghost, 
though it be pleaded by them, that he is compared with and 
opposed unto the ' spirit of a man,' ver. 11. which they say 
is no person. For no comparisons hold in all circumstances. 
The spirit of a man is his rational soul endued with under- 
standing and knowledge. This is an individual intelligent 
substance, capable of a subsistence in a separate condition. 
Grant the Spirit of God to be so far a person, and all their 
pretences fall to the ground. And whereas it is affirmed by 
one among ourselves, though otherwise asserting ' the Deity 
of the Holy Ghost,' (Good. p. 175.) that this 'expression of 
searching the things of God, cannot be applied directly to 
the Spirit, but must intend his enabling us to search into 
them, because to search includes imperfection, and the use 
of means to come to the knowledge of any thing ;' it is not 
of weight in this matter. For such acts are ascribed unto 
God with respect unto their effects. And searching being 
with us the means of attaining the perfect knowledge of any 
thing, the perfection of the knowledge of God is expressed 
thereby. So David prays that God would ' search him and 
know his heart;' Psal. cxxxix. 23. And be is often said to 
* search the hearts of men,' whereby his infinite wisdom is 
intimated, whereunto all things are open and naked. So 
is the Spirit said to ' search the deep things of God,' be- 
cause of his infinite understanding, and the perfection of 
his knowledge, before which they lie open. And as things 
are here spoken of the Spirit in reference unto God the Fa- 
ther, so are they spoken of him in reference unto the Spirit. 
Rom. viii. 27. He ' that searcheth the hearts knoweth the 
mind of the Spirit.' Add hereunto that this Spirit is the au- 
thor of wisdom and understanding in and unto others ; and 
therefore he must have them in himself, and that not vir- 
tually or casually only, but formally also. 1 Cor. xii. 8. 
Wisdom and knowledge are reckoned among the gifts be- 
stowed by him. For those of faith and tongues it is enough 


that they are in him virtually. But wisdom and understand- 
ing, they cannot be given by any but he that is wise and 
understandeth what he doth. And hence is he called ex- 
pressly a ' Spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel 
and knowledge ;' Isa. xi. 3. I might confirm this by other 
testimonies, where other effects of understanding are as- 
cribed unto him; as 1 Tim. iv. 1. 1 Pet. i. 11. 2 Pet. i. 21. 
but what hath been spoken is sufficient unto our purpose. 

Secondly, A will is ascribed unto him. This is the most 
eminently distinguishing character and property of a person. 
Whatever is endued with an intelligent will is a person. 
And it cannot by any fiction, with any tolerable congruity, 
be ascribed unto any thing else, unless the reason of the 
metaphor be plain and obvious. So when our Saviour says 
of the wind that it bloweth oitov %i\u ' as it willeth' or listeth, 
John iii. 8. the abuse of the word is evident. All intended 
is, that the wind as unto us is aveviriv^vvog, and not at all at 
our disposal ; acts not by our guidance or direction. And 
no man is so foolish as not to apprehend the meaning of it, 
or once to inquire whether our Saviour doth properly as- 
cribe a will to the wind or no. So James iii. 4. The 
words rendered by us, ' turned about with a very small helm, 
whithersoever the governor listeth,' are in the original, ottov 
av bpfirj tov zvSvvovtoq fio{i\r}Tai, in which the act of willing 
is ascribed to the oppj, the impetus or inclination of the 
governor : which yet hath not a will. But the opjiri in that 
place is not the 7r/oorrr} icivrjdte of the philosophers ; the mo~ 
tus primo-primus, or the first agitation or inclination of the 
mind ; but it is the will itself under an earnest inclination, 
such as is usual with them who govern ships by the helms 
in storms. Hereunto the act of willing is properly ascribed, 
and he in whom it is proved to be, a person. Thus a will 
acting with understanding and choice, as the principle and 
cause of his outward actions, is ascribed unto the Holy 
Ghost; 1 Cor. xii. 11. tf All these things worketh that one 
and self-same Spirit, dividing unto every man as he will.' He 
had before asserted that he was the author and donor of all 
the spiritual gifts which he had been discoursing about; 
ver. 4 — 6. These gifts he declares to be various, as he ma- 
nifests in nine instances, and all variously disposed of by 
him; ver. 8 — 10. If now it be inquired what is the rule of 

vol. n. G 


this his distribution of them, he tells us that it is his own 
will, his choice and pleasure. What can be spoken more 
fully and plainly to describe an intelligent person, acting 
voluntarily with freedom and by choice I know not. 

We may consider what is excepted hereunto. They say 
(Schlictling. p. 610.) that the Holy Ghost is here introduced 
as a person by a prosopopeia ; that the distribution of the 
gifts mentioned, is ascribed unto him by a metaphor; and 
by the same or another metaphor, he is said to have a will, 
or to act as he will. But is it not evident that if this course 
of interpreting, or rather of perverting, Scripture may be al- 
lowed, nothing of any certainty will be left unto us therein ? 
It is but saying this or that is a metaphor, and if one will 
not serve the turn, to bring in two or three, one on the neck 
of another, and the work is done, the sense intended is quite 
changed and lost. Allow this liberty or bold licentiousness, 
and you may overthrow the being of God himself, and the 
mediation of Christ, as to any testimony given unto them in 
the Scripture. But the words are plain, ' he divideth to every 
one as he will.' And for the confirmation of his Deity, though 
that be out of question on the supposition of his personality, 
I shall only add from this place, that he who hath the sove- 
reign disposal of all spiritual gifts, having only his own will, 
which is infinitely wise and holy, for his rule, ' he is over all 
God blessed for ever.' 

Thirdly, Another property of a living person is power. A 
power whereby any one is able to act according to the 
guidance of his understanding, and the determinations of his 
will, declares him to be a person. It is not the mere as- 
cription of power absolutely, or ability unto any thing that 
I intend. For they may signify no more but the efficacy 
wherewith such things are attended in their proper places, 
as instruments of the effects whereunto they are applied. In 
this sense power is ascribed to the word of God, when it is 
said, 'to be able to save our souls;' James i. 21. And 
Acts xx. 32. ' The word of God's grace is said to be able 
to build us up, and to give us an inheritance among them 
that are sanctified;' if that place intend the word written or 
preached, whereinto I have made inquiry elsewhere. For 
these things are clearly interpreted in other places. The 
word is said to be ' able,' yea, to be the ' power of God unto 


salvation;' Rom. i. 16. because God is pleased to use it and 
make it effectual by his grace unto that end. But where 
power, divine power, is absolutely ascribed unto any one, 
and that declared to be put forth and exercised by the un- 
derstanding, and according to the will of him to whom it is 
so ascribed, it doth undeniably prove him to be a divine per- 
son. For when we say the Holy Ghost is so, we intend no more 
but that he is one, who by his own divine understanding, puts 
forth his own divine power. So is it in this case ; Job xxxiii . 4. 
' The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the 
Almighty hath given me life.' Creation is an act of divine 
power; the highest we are capable to receive any notion of. 
And it is also an effect of the wisdom and will of him that 
createth, as being a voluntary act, and designed unto a certain 
end. All these, therefore, are here ascribed to the Spirit of 
God. It is excepted, (Schlicting. pp. 6KJ — 615.) that by the 
Spirit of God here mentioned, no more is intended but our 
own vital spirits, whereby we are quickened, called the Spirit 
of God because he gave it. But this is too much confidence. 
The words are >vnn **W nDlMl 'JDitfy bx mi. There were 
two distinct divine operations in and about the creation of 
man. The first was the forming of his body out of the dust 
of the earth ; this is expressed by r\&y and ny>; he made, he 
formed: and secondly, the infusion of a living or quicken- 
ing soul into him, called ED»rr nDM, or 'the breath of life.' 
Both these are here distinctly mentioned : the first ascribed 
to the Spirit of God, the other to his breath ; that is ' the 
same Spirit considered in a peculiar way of operation in the 
infusion of the rational soul. Such is the sense of those 
figurative and enigmatical words ; * God breathed into man 
the breath of life ;' that is, by his Spirit he effected a princi- 
ple of life in him, as we shall see afterward. 

Isa. xi. 2. As he is called a Spirit of wisdom and under- 
standing, so is he also of might or power; and although it 
may be granted that the things there mentioned are rather 
effects of his operations than adjuncts of his nature ; yet he 
who effecteth wisdom and power in others, must first have 
them himself. To this purpose also is that demand, Micah 
ii. 7. ' Is the Spirit of the Lord straitened,' or shortened ? 
that is, in his power, that he cannot work and operate in the 
prophets and his church as in former days ; and the same 

g 2 


prophet, chap. iii. 8. affirms, ' That he is full of power, and of 
judgment, and of might, by the Spirit of the Lord.' These, 
things were wrought in him by his power, as the apostle 
speaks to the same purpose, Ephes. iii. 16. 

Those by whom this truth is opposed, do lay out all their 
strength and skill in exceptions, I may say cavils, against some 
of these particular testimonies and some expressions in them. 
But as to the whole argument taken from the consideration 
of the design and scope of the Scripture in them all they 
have nothing to except. 

To complete this argument, I shall add the consideration 
of those works and operations of all sorts, which are ascribed 
to the Spirit of God ; which we shall find to be such as are 
not capable of an assignation unto him with the least con- 
gruity of speech, or design of speaking intelligibly, unless 
he be a distinct singular subsistent, or person endued with 
divine power and understanding. And here what we desired 
formerly might be observed must be again repeated. It is 
not from a single instance of every one of the works which 
we shall mention that we draw and confirm our argument ; 
for some of them singly considered may perhaps sometimes 
be metaphorically ascribed unto other causes, which doth 
not prove that therefore they are persons also, which con- 
tains the force.of all the exceptions of our adversaries against 
these testimonies. But as some of them at least never are 
nor can be assigned unto any but a divine person ; so we 
take our argument from their joint consideration, or the uni- 
form constant assignation of them all unto him in the Scrip- 
tures, which renders it irrefragable. For the things them- 
selves I shall not insist upon them, because their particular 
nature must be afterward unfolded. 

First, He is said to teach us; Luke xii. 12. 'The Holy 
Ghost shall teach you what you ought to say.' John xiv. 26. 
' The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father 
will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and 
brino- all things to remembrance.' 1 John ii. 27. ' He is the 
unction which teacheth us all things :' how and whence he 
is so called shall be afterward declared. He is the great 
Teacher of the church, unto whom the accomplishment of 
that great promise is committed; 'and they shall be all 
taught of God;' John vi. 45. It is sad with the church of 


God when her teachers are removed into a corner, and her 
eyes see them not. But better lose all other teachers, and 
that utterly, than to lose this great teacher only. For although 
he is pleased to make use of them, he can teach effectually 
and savingly without them, where they are removed and taken 
away ; but they cannot teach without him unto the least spi- 
ritual advantage. And those who pretend to be teachers of 
others, and yet despise his teaching assistance, will one day 
find that they undertook a work which was none of theirs. 
But as unto our use of this assertion it is excepted, that the 
apostle affirms, that nature also teacheth us ; 1 Cor. xi. 14. 
' Doth not even nature itself teach you V now nature is not 
a person. This is the way and manner of them with whom 
we have to do. If any word in a testimony produced by us 
have been any where used metaphorically, though it be ne- 
ver so evident that it is so used in that place, instantly it 
must have the same figurative application in the testimony 
excepted against, although they can give no reason why it 
should so signify. And if this course of excepting be allowed, 
there will be nothing left intelligible in the Scripture nor in 
any other author, nor in common conversation in the world. 
For there is scarce any word or name of thing but one where 
or other is or hath been abused or used metaphorically. In 
particular, nature in this place of the apostle is said to teach 
us objectively, as the heavens and earth teach us in what we 
learn from them. For it is said to teach us what we may 
learn from the customs and actings of them, who live, pro- 
ceed, and act, according to the principles, dictates, and incli- 
nations of it. Every one sees that here is no intimation of 
an active teaching by instruction, or a real communication of 
knowledge ; but it is said figuratively to do what we do with 
respect unto it. And not only in several places, but in the 
same sentence, a word may be used properly with respect 
unto one thing, and abusively with respect unto another. As 
in that saying of the poet; 

Disce puer virtutem ex me, verumque laborem; 
Furtunam ex aliis. 

For virtue and industry are to be learned properly ; but for- 
tune, as they called it, or prosperous events, are not so. 
These things therefore are very different, and their difference 
is obvious unto all. But we insist not merely on this or that 


particular instance. Let any man not absolutely prepossessed 
with prejudice, read over that discourse of our Saviour unto 
his disciples, wherein he purposely instructs them in the 
nature and work of the Spirit of God, on whom, as it were, he 
then devolved the care of them and the gospel, according 
unto the promise, John xiv. xv. xvi. and he will need 
no farther instruction or confirmation in this matter. He is 
there frequently called the Comforter, the name of a person, 
and that vested with an office, with respect unto the work 
that he would do ; and another Comforter, in answer and 
conformity unto the Lord Christ who was one Comforter and 
a person as all grant ; chap. xiv. 16. .If he be not so, the in- 
tention of this expression with these circumstances, must be 
to deceive us and not instruct us. He tells them moreover 
that he is one whom the world neither sees nor knows, but 
who abideth with and dwelleth in believers; ver. 17. One 
whom the Father would send, and who would come accord- 
ingly ; and that to teach them, to lead and guide them, and 
to bring things to their remembrance ; ver. 26. A Comforter 
that should come and testify or bear witness unto him; chap. 
xv. 26. One that should be sent of him, ' to reprove the world 
of sin, righteousness, and judgment;' chap. xvi. 7, 8. and 
abide with his disciples to supply his own bodily absence. 
So is he said to speak, guide, teach, hear, to receive of Christ 
and to shew it unto others ; ver. 13, 14. with sundry other 
things of the same nature and importance. And these things 
are not spoken of him occasionally, or in transitu, but in a 
direct continued discourse, designed on purpose by our Lord 
Jesus Christ, to acquaint his disciples who he was, and what 
he would do for them. And if there were nothing spoken 
of him in the whole Scripture but what is here declared by 
our Saviour, all unprejudiced men must and would acknow- 
lege him to be a divine person. And it is a confidence 
swelling above all bounds of modesty, to suppose that, be- 
cause one or other of these things are or may be metaphor- 
ically or metaleptically ascribed unto this or that thing 
which are not persons, when the figurativeness of such an 
ascription is plain and open ; that therefore they are all of 
them in like manner so ascribed unto the Holy Ghost in that 
discourse of our Saviour unto his disciples, wherein he de- 
bijrned the instruction of them as above declared. Of the 


same nature is that which we discoursed before concerning 
his searching of all things, from 1 Cor. ii. 11. which as it 
proves him to be an understanding agent, so it undeniably 
denotes a personal action. Such also are the things men- 
tined, Rom. viii. 15, 16. 26. He helpeth our infirmities, 
he maketh intercession for us, he himself beareth witness 
with our spirits ; the particular meaning of all which ex- 
pressions shall be afterward inquired into. Here the only 
refuge of our adversaries is to cry up a prosopopeia, 
(Schlicting. p. 627.) But how do they prove it? Only by 
saying that these things belong properly to a person which 
the Spirit is not: now this is nothing but to set up their 
own false hypothesis against our arguments, and not being 
able to contend with the premises to deny the conclusion. 

There are two other places of this nature, both to the 
same purpose, sufficient of themselves to confirm our faith 
in the truth pleaded for : and these are Acts xiii. 2. 4. ' As 
they ministered unto the Lord and fasted, the Holy Ghost 
said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work where- 
unto I have called them. So they, being sent forth by the 
Holy Ghost, departed.' The other is Acts xx. 28. ' Take 
heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over 
the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers.' These 
places hold a good correspondence ; and what is reported 
in an extraordinary case, as matter of fact in the first, is doc- 
trinally applied unto ordinary cases, in the latter. And two 
things are remarkable in the first place : 1. The Holy Ghost's 
designation of himself, as the person unto whom and whose 
work Barnabas and Saul were to be separated and dedicated : 
saith he, acpopiaare fxot, not • separate me/ as in our transla- 
tion, making the Spirit only the author of the command, 
but ' separate unto me ;' which proposeth him also as the ob- 
ject of the duty required, and the person whose work was 
to be attended. Who, or what then, is intended by that 
pronoun 'ir?. ! ' Some person is directed unto, and signified, 
thereby. Kor can any instance be given where it is so 
much as figuratively used, unless it be in a professed para- 
ble. That remains, therefore, to be inquired into, Who is 
intended in that word - me ?' And the words are the words 
of the Holy Ghost; ' The Holy Ghost said, Separate unto 
me ;' He, therefore, alone is intended. All the answer 


which the wit and diligence of our adversaries can invent 
is, that these words are ascribed unto the Holy Ghost, be- 
cause the prophets that were in the church of Antioch 
spake therein by his instinct and inspiration. But in this 
evasion there is no regard unto the force of our argument ; 
for we do not argue merely from his being said to speak, 
but from what is spoken by him, ' separate unto me/ and do 
inquire whether the prophets be intended by that word or 
no? If so, which of them? for they were many by whom 
the Holy Ghost spake the same thing; and some one must 
be intended in common by them all : and to say that this 
was any of the prophets is foolish, indeed blasphemous. 
2. The close of the third verse confirms this application 
of the word, ' to the work whereunto I have called them.' 
This confessedly is the Holy Ghost. Now to call men to 
the ministry is a free act of authority, choice, and wisdom, 
which are properties of a person and none other. Nor is 
either the Father or the Son in the Scripture, introduced 
more directly clothed with personal properties than the Holy 
Ghost is in these places. And the whole is confirmed, 
ver. 4. And ' they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, de- 
parted.' He called them by furnishing them with ability 
and authority for their work ; he commanded them to be set 
apart by the church, that they might be blessed and owned 
in their work ; and he sent them forth by an impression of 
his authority on their minds, given them by those former 
acts of his. And if a divine person be not hereby described, 
I know not how he may so be. 

The other text speaks unto the same purpose; chap. xx. 
28. It is expressly said, that the Holy Ghost made the 
elders of the church the overseers of it. The same act of 
wisdom and authority is here again assigned unto him; and 
here is no room left for the evasion insisted on. For these 
words were not spoken in a way of prophecy, nor in the 
name of the Holy Ghost, but concerning him ; and they 
are explicatory of the other. For he must be meant in 
those expressions, ' Separate unto me those whom I have 
called,' by whom they are made ministers. Now this was 
the Holy Ghost, for he makes the overseers of the church. 
And we may do well to take notice, that if he did so then, 
he doth so now ; for they were not persons extraordinarily 


inspired, or called, that the apostle intends, but the ordi- 
nary officers of the church. And if persons are not called 
and constituted officers, as at the first in ordinary cases, the 
church is not the same as it was. And it is the concern- 
ment of those who take this work and office upon them, to 
consider what there is in their whole undertaking that they 
can ascribe unto the Holy Ghost. Persons furnished with 
no spiritual gifts or abilities, entering into the ministry in 
the pursuit of secular advantages, will not easily satisfy 
themselves in this inquiry, when they shall be willing, or 
be forced, at the last to make it. 

There remains yet one sort of testimonies to the same pur- 
pose, which must briefly be passed through ; and they are 
those where he is spoken of as the object of such actings and 
actions of men as none but a person can be. For let them be 
applied unto any other object, and their inconsistency will 
quickly appear. Thus he is said to be tempted of them 
that sin : ' You agree together to tempt the Spirit of the 
Lord ;' Acts v. 9. In what sense soever this word is used, 
whether in that which is indifferent, to try, as God is said 
to tempt Abraham, or in that which is evil, to provoke or 
induce to sin, it never is, it never can be, used but with 
respect unto a person. How can a quality, an accident, an 
emanation of power from God be tempted ? None can pos- 
sibly be so but he that hath an understanding to consider 
what is proposed unto him, and a will to determine upon 
the proposals made. So Satan tempted our first parents ; 
so men are tempted by their own lusts ; so are we said to 
tempt God when we provoke him by our unbelief, or when 
we unwarrantably make experiments of his power. So did 
they ' tempt the Holy Ghost,' who sinfully ventured on his 
omniscience, as if he would not, or could not, discover their 
sin ; or on his holiness, that he would patronise their deceit. 
In like manner Ananias is said to ' lie to the Holy Ghost;' 
ver. 3. And none is capable of lying unto any other but 
such an one as is capable of hearing and receiving a testi- 
mony. For a lie is a false testimony given unto that which 
is spoken or uttered in it. This He that is lied unto, must 
be capable of judging and determining upon, which without 
personal properties of will and understanding none can be. 
And the Holy Ghost is here so declared to be a person, as 


that he is declared to be one that is also divine. For so 
the apostle Peter declares in the exposition of the words, 
ver. 4. ' Thou hast not lied unto men but unto God.' These 
things are so plain and positive, that the faith of believers 
will not be concerned in the sophistical evasions of our 
adversaries. In like manner he is said to be resisted, Acts 
vii. 51. which is the moral reaction or opposition of one 
person unto another. So also is he said to be grieved, or we 
are commanded not to grieve him ; Eph. iv. 30. as they of 
old were said to have ' rebelled and vexed the Holy Spirit 
of God ;' Isa. lxiii. 10. A figurative expression is allowed 
in these words. Properly the Spirit of God cannot be 
grieved or vexed ; for these things include such imperfec- 
tions as are incompetent unto the divine nature. But as 
God is said to repent and to be grieved at his heart, Gen. 
vi. 6. when he would do things' correspondent unto those 
which men will do, or judge fit to be done, on such provo- 
tions ; and when he would declare what effects they would 
produce in a nature capable of such perturbations ; so on the 
same reason is the Spirit of God said to be grieved and 
vexed. But this can no way be spoken of him, if he be not 
one whose respect unto sin may, from the analogy unto hu- 
man persons, be represented by this figurative expression. 
To talk of grieving a virtue, or an actual emanation of 
power, is to speak that which no man can understand the 
meaning or intention of. Surely he that is thus tempted, 
resisted, and grieved, by sin and sinners, is one that can 
understand, judge, and determine, concerning them. And 
these things being elsewhere absolutely spoken concerning 
God, it declares that he is so, with respect unto whom they 
are mentioned in particular. 

The whole of the truth contended for is yet more evi- 
dent in that discourse of our Saviour, Matt. xii. 24. The 
Pharisees said, * He doth not cast out devils but by Beel- 
zebub the prince of devils.' Ver. 28. ' If I cast out devils 
by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come 
unto you.' Ver. 31, 32. ' Wherefore I say unto you, All 
manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, 
but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be for- 
given unto men : and whosoever speaketh a word against 
the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him ; but whosoever 


speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven 
him,' To the same purpose, see Luke xii. 8 — 10. The 
Spirit is here expressly distinguished from the Son, as one 
person from another. They are both spoken of with re- 
spect unto the same things in the same manner ; and the 
things mentioned are spoken concerning them universally 
in the same sense. Now, if the Holy Ghost were only the 
virtue and power of God then present with Jesus Christ in 
all that he did, Christ and that power could not be dis- 
tinctly spoken against, for they were but one and the same. 
The Pharisees blasphemed, saying, ' That he cast out devils 
by Beelzebub the prince of devils.' A person they in- . 
tended, and so expressed him by his name, nature, and 
office : to which our Saviour replies, that he cast them out 
by the Spirit of God ; a divine person opposed to him who 
is diabolical. Hereunto he immediately subjoins his in- 
struction and caution, that they should take heed how they 
blasphemed that Holy Spirit, by assigning his effects and 
works to the prince of devils : and blasphemy against him 
directly manifests both what and who he is; especially such 
a peculiar blasphemy as carrieth an aggravation of guilt 
along with it, above all that human nature in any other 
instance is capable of. It is supposed that blasphemy may 
be against the person of the Father : so was it in him who 
blasphemed the name of Jehovah and cursed by it; Lev. 
xxiv. 11. The Son, as to his distinct person, may be blas- 
phemed, so it is said here expressly ; and thereon it is added 
that the Holy Ghost also may be distinctly blasphemed, or 
be the immediate object of that sin which is declared to be 
inexpiable. To suppose now that this Holy Ghost is not a 
divine person, is for men to dream whilst they seem to be 

I suppose by all these testimonies we have fully con- 
firmed what was designed to be proved by them ; namely, 
that the Holy Spirit is not a quality, as some speak, residing 
in the divine nature ; not a mere emanation of virtue and 
power from God; not the acting of the power of God in and 
unto our sanctification, but a holy intelligent subsistent, or 
person. And in our passage many instances have been 
given, whence it is undeniably evident that he is a Divine, 
self-sufficient, self-subsisting person, together with the Fa- 


ther and the Son equally participant of the divine nature. 
Nor is this distinctly much disputed by them with whom 
we have to do. For they confess that such things are as- 
cribed unto him as none but God can effect. Wherefore 
denying him so to be, they lay up all their hopes of success 
in denying him to be a person; but yet, because the subject 
we are upon doth require it, and it may be useful to the 
faith of some, I will call over a few testimonies given ex- 
pressly unto hisDeity also. 

First, He is expressly called God; and having the name 
of God properly and directly given unto him, with respect 
unto spiritual things, or things peculiar unto God, he must 
have the nature of God also; Acts v. 3. ' Ananias is said to 
lie to the Holy Ghost.' This is repeated and interpreted, 
ver. 4. * Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.' The 
declaration of the person intended by the Holy Ghost, is 
added for the aggravation of the sin, for he is God. The 
same person, the same object of the sin of Ananias, is ex- 
pressed in both places ; and, therefore, the Holy Ghost is 
God. The word for lying is the same in both places, \pev- 
Sojmiq, only it is used in a various construction : ver. 3. it 
hath the accusative case joined unto it; ipaixraaSai at to irvwfia 
to ayiov ; that ' thou shouldest deceive,' or think to deceive, 
or attempt to deceive, the Holy Ghost : How ? by lying unto 
him, in making a profession in the church wherein he pre- 
sides of that which is false. This is explained, ver. 4. by 
hptvahy rw 9ew, ' thou hast lied unto God;' the nature of his 
sin being principally intended in the first place, and the ob- 
ject in the latter. Wherefore, in the progress of his dis- 
course, the apostle calls the same sin, a ' tempting of the 
Spirit of the Lord;' ver. 9. It was the Spirit of the Lord, 
that he lied unto, when he lied unto God. These three ex- 
pressions, ' the Holy Ghost,' ' God,' the 'Spirit of the Lord,' 
do denote, the same thing and person, or there is no coherence 
in the discourse. It is excepted, that what is done against 
the Spirit, is done against God, because he is sent by God. 
It is true, as he is sent by the Father, what is done against 
him is morally, and as to the guilt of it, done against the 
Father. And so our Saviour tells us, with respect unto what 
was done against himself. For saith he, ' He that despiseth 
me, despiseth him that sent me.' But directly and imme- 


diately, both Christ and the Spirit were sinned against in 
their pvvn persons. He is God here provoked. So also he 
is called Lord, in a sense appropriate unto God alone, 
2 Cor. iii. 17, 18. • Now the Lord is that Spirit ;' and we are 
changed from glory to glory, awb Kvptov irvtvfxaToq, ' by the 
Lord the Spirit,' or the Spirit of the Lord; where also divine 
operations are ascribed unto him. What is affirmed to this 
purpose, 1 Cor. xii. 6 — 8. hath been observed in the open- 
ing of the beginning of that chapter at the beginning of our 
discourse. The same also is drawn by just consequence 
from the comparing of Scriptures together, wherein what is 
spoken of God absolutely in one place, is applied directly 
and immediately unto the Holy Ghost in another. To in- 
stance in one or two particulars; Lev. xxvi. 11, 12. ' I will,' 
saith God, ' set my tabernacle amongst you; and I will 
walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my 
people.' The accomplishment of this promise, the apostle 
declares, 2 Cor. vi. 16. 'Ye are the temple of the living 
God, as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk 
amongst them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my 
people.' How, and by whom is this done? 1 Cor. iii. 16, 
17. ' Know you not, that ye are the temple of God, and that 
the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the 
temple of God, him will God destroy, for the temple of God 
is holy, which ye are.' If it were then God, who of old, 
promised to dwell in his people, and to make them his tem- 
ple thereby, then is the Holy Spirit God ; for, he it is, who 
according to that promise, thus dwelleth in them. So, Deut. 
xxxii. 12. speaking of the people in the wilderness, he saith, 
• The Lord alone did lead him ;' and yet speaking of the 
same people, at the same time, it is said, ' That the Spirit of 
the Lord did lead them, and caused them to rest;' Isa. lxiii. 
14. The Spirit of the Lord, therefore, is Jehovah, or Jeho- 
vah alone did not lead them. That also which is called in 
the same people, their ' sinning against God, and provoking 
the Most High in the wilderness,' Psal. lxxviii. 17, 18. is 
termed their ' rebelling against, and vexing the Holy Spirit ;' 
Isa. lxiii. 10, 11. And many other instances of an alike 
nature, have been pleaded and vindicated by others. 

Add hereunto in the last place, that divine properties are 
assigned unto him. As eternity; Heb. ix. 14. He is the 


' eternal Spirit.' Immensity ; Psal. cxxxix. 7. ' Whither 
shall I flee from thy Spirit.' Omnipotency ; Mic. ii. 8. ' The 
Spirit of the Lord is not straitened;' compared with Isa. xl. 
28. * The power of the Spirit of God ;' Rom. xv. 19. Pre- 
science; Acts i. 16. ' This Scripture must be fulfilled, which 
the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before con- 
cerning Judas.' Omniscience ; 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11. * The Spirit 
searcheth all things, even the deep things of God.' Sove- 
reign authority over the church ; Acts xiii. 3. xx. 28. The 
divine works also which are assigned unto him, are usually 
and to good purpose, pleaded in the vindication of the same 
truth. But these in the progress of our discourse, I shall 
have occasion distinctly to consider and inquire into, and 
therefore, shall not in this place insist upon them. What 
hath been proposed, cleared, and confirmed, may suffice as 
unto our present purpose ; that we may know ivho he is, con- 
cerning whom, his works and grace, we do design to treat. 

I have but one thing more to add concerning the being 
and personality of the Holy Spirit. And this is, that in the 
order of subsistence, he is the third person in the Holy Trinity. 
So it is expressed in the solemn numeration of them, where 
their order gives great direction unto gospel-worship and 
obedience ; Matt, xxviii. 19. ' Baptizing them in the name 
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' This 
order I confess in their numeration, because of the equality 
of the persons in the same nature, is sometimes varied. So, 
Rev. i. 4, 5. v Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which 
is, and which was, and which is to come, and from the seven 
spirits which are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ.' 
The Holy Spirit, under the name of the seven spirits, before 
the throne of God, because of his various and perfect ope- 
rations in and towards the church, is reckoned up in order 
before the Son, Jesus Christ. And so in Paul's euctical con- 
clusion unto his Epistles, the Son is placed before the Fa- 
ther; 2 Cor. xiii. 14. ' The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, 
and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, 
be with you all.' And some think, that the Holy Ghost is 
mentioned in the first place ; Col. ii. 2. ' The acknowledg- 
ment of the 'mystery of God, and of the Father, and of 
Christ.' In this expression of them, therefore, we may use 
our liberty, they being all one ' God over all blessed for ever.' 


But, in their true and natural order of subsistence, and con- 
sequently of operation, the Holy Spirit is the third person. 
For as to his personal subsistence, he ' proceedeth from the 
Father and the Son,' being equally the Spirit of them both 
as hath been declared. This constitutes the natural order 
between the persons, which is unalterable. On this depends 
the order of his operation ; for his working is a consequent 
of the order of his subsistence. Thus the Father is said 
to send him, and so is the Son also ; John xiv. 16. 26. 
xvi. 7. And he is thus said to be sent by the Father and 
the Son, because he is the Spirit of the Father and Son, 
proceeding from both, and is the next cause in the applica- 
tion of the Trinity unto external works. But, as he is thus 
sent, so his own will is equally in and unto the work for 
which he is sent. As the Father is said to send the Son, 
and yet it was also his own love and grace to come unto 
us, and to save us. And this ariseth from hence, that in 
the whole economy of the Trinity, as to the works that 
outwardly are of God, especially the works of grace, the 
order of the subsistence of the persons in the same nature 
is represented unto us, and they have the same dependence 
on each other in their operations, as they have in their sub- 
sistence. The Father is the fountain of all, as in being and 
existence so in operation. The Son is of the Father, be- 
gotten of him, and therefore, as unto his work, is sent by 
him. But his own will is in, and unto, what he is sent 
about. The Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father and 
the Son, and, therefore, is sent and given by them as to all 
the works which he immediately effecteth; but yet, his own 
will is the direct principle of all that he doth. He di- 
videth unto every one according to his own will. And thus 
much may suffice to be spoken about the being of the Holy 
Spirit, and the order of his subsistence in the blessed 







Things to be observed in divine operations. The works of God, how as- 
cribed absolutely unto God, and how distinctly to each person. The reason 
hereof. Perfecting acts in divine works ascribed unto the Holy Spirit, 
and why. Peculiar works of the Spirit, v>ith respect unto the old creation. 
The parts of the old creation. Heaven and its host. What, the host of 
heaven. The host of the earth. The host of heaven completed by the 
Spirit. And of the earth. His moving on the old creation ; Psal. civ. 
30. The creation of man, the work of the. Spirit therein. The work of 
the Spirit, in the preservation of all things when created, natural and 
moral. Farther instances thereof, in and out of the church. Work of the 
Spirit of God in the old creation, why sparingly delivered. 

Intending to treat of the operations of the Holy Ghost, or 
those which are peculiar unto him, some things must be pre- 
mised concerning the operation of the Godhead in general, 
and the manner thereof. And they are such, as are needful 
to guide us in many passages of the Scripture, and to direct 
us aright in the things, in particular, which now lie before 
us. I say then, 1. That all divine operations are usually as- 
cribed unto God absolutely. So, it is said, God made all 
things ; and so of all other works, whether in nature or in 
grace. And the reason hereof is, because the several per- 
sons are undivided in their operations, acting all by the same 
will, the same wisdom, the same power. Every person, 
therefore, is the author of every work of God ; because, each 
person is God, and the divine nature is the same undivided 
principle of all divine operations' 1 : and this ariseth from the 

a Mia apct xai ix rovTaiv, « tdj Tpi'a&o? higyua llix-mai. Ov ya.% ax; ita£ Ix&ittov h£<popa, 
>ta.i SiJjpUjUEva Ta SiSj^sva a->ifx.aivii o Kiroo-rckoq. 'AXX' otj t<x lilipiva Iv TjiaSi Si'Sorai, 
xai t« wavra i£ ivac ©tsD ilcn. Athanas. Epistol. ad Serapionem. 

Mi'av li/ipyliM ogZ/Atv 7TftTjCf xal v\oZ, Ktti aylov mzv/xaTOS . Basil. Homil. 17. in 


unity of the persons in the same essence. But as to the 
manner of subsistence therein, there is distinction, relation, 
and order, between and among them. And, hence, there is 
no divine work but is distinctly assigned unto each person, 
and eminently unto one. So is it in the works of the old 
creation, and so in the new, and in all particulars of them. 
Thus the creation of the world is distinctly ascribed to the 
Father, as his work; Acts iv. 24. and to the Son as his; John 
i. 3. and, also, to the Holy Spirit ; Job xxxiii. 4. but by the 
way of eminence to the Father, and absolutely to God, who 
is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

The reason, therefore, why the works of God are thus dis- 
tinctly ascribed unto each person, is because, in the undi- 
vided operation of the divine nature, each person doth the 
same work in the order of their subsistence ; not one as the 
instrument of the other, or merely employed by the other, 
but as one common principle of authority, wisdom, love, and 
power. How come they then eminently to be assigned, one 
to one person, another to another ? As unto the Father are 
assigned opera natura, the works of nature, or the old crea- 
tion; to the Son, opera gratia procurata, all divine opera- 
tions that belong unto the recovery of mankind by grace; 
and, unto the Spirit, opera gratia applicata, the works of God, 
whereby grace is made effectual unto us. And this is done, 
(1.) When b any especial impression is made of the especial 
property of any person on any work, then is that work as- 
signed peculiarly to that person. So there is of the power 
and authority of the Father, on the old creation; and of the 
grace and wisdom of the Son, on the new. (2.) Where there 
is a peculiar condescension of any person unto a work, 
wherein the others have no concurrence but by approbation 
and consent. Such was the susception of the human nature 
by the Son, and all that he did therein. And such was the 
condescension of the Holy Ghost, also, unto his office, which 

Sanctum Baptisma. r I2v ai avrai hipyeiai rourmv x.al owns fxia; hepyeta, Se vtou xal 
Tra-rgof [Xia if ro, 'Grothtro/j.iv av&£O>7T0V. Kf TraXiv ; a. yrig av o 'rrarhp 7ro»5, rauTa. xa) o 
i/ioj hfAoitc; jmit. Aja xai ovs-ia. y.ia wvrrgof xal v.ov. Idem advers. Eunom. lib. 4. 

Quicquid de Spiritu Sancto diximus hoc similiter de Palre et Filio corumuniter et 
indivise volumus intelligi; quia sancta et inseparabilis Trinitas nunquam aliquid 
se sigillatim opt-rari noverit. Ambros. in Symbol. Apost. cap. 9. 

b TlavTa Ta Jho7T{E7r£j Myoy.tva, iwi t>5; vTri^ouciou Tfi'aSo; xa9' exa<rT»f tSv r^iSv 
t'WJS'TaerEaiv t^iiiovrai, nal eva^coTTETai, "SrXtiv a, tw 'arpoayaiyhv, tovtoiv riyovy rhv iorwTa- 
a-innv yvfyio-w IjttwotoDvTrti. Arethas, in Apocal. Commentar. cap. 1. 



entitles him peculiarly, and by way of eminence, unto his 
own immediate works. 

2. Whereas the order of operation among the distinct per- 
sons, depends on the order" of their subsistence in the blessed 
Trinity, in every great work of God ; the concluding, com- 
pleting, perfecting acts, are ascribed unto the Holy Ghost d . 
This we shall find in all the instances of them that will fall 
under our consideration. Hence, the immediate actings of 
the Spirit are the most hidden, curious, and mysterious, as 
those which contain the perfecting part of the works of God. 
Some seem willing to exclude all thoughts or mention of him 
from the works of God ; but, indeed, without him, no part 
of any work of God is perfect or complete 6 . The beginning 
of divine operations is assigned unto the Father, as he is 
fons et origo Deitatis, ' the fountain of the Deity itself.' ' Of 
him, and through him, and to him, are all things;' Rom. xi. 
32. The subsisting, establishing, and ' upholding of all 
things,' is ascribed unto the Son: * He is before all things, 
and by him all things consist;' Col. i. 17. As he made all 
things with the Father, so he gives them a consistency, a 
permanency in a peculiar manner, as he is the power and 
wisdom of the Father. He ' upholds all things by the word 
of his power ;' Heb. i. 3. And the finishing and perfecting 
of all these works is ascribed to the Holy Spirit, as we shall 
see. I say not this, as though one person succeeded unto 
another in their operation, or as though where one ceased 
and gave over a work, the other took it up and carried it on. 
For every divine work, and every part of every divine work, 
is the work of God ; that is, etf the whole Trinity, unsepa- 
rably and undividedly. But, on these divine works, which 
outwardly are of God, there is an especial impression of the 
order of the operation of each person, with respect unto 

c Hoc non est inaequalitas substantias, sed ordo natural ; non quod alter esset 
prior altero, sed quod alter esset ex altero. Aug. lib. 3. contra Maxentium, cap. 14. 

d TLao-a. hkeyua h &eo&ev etti tJiv xtiViv Sinxouca, Jtai xa-ra ric itoKvrplnrovi ivvciaj 
ovofjia.ty(Avn Ix ffaTpof a.$opy.a.-rai, xai l\a tou vlov <B7poW», xai Iv too Tniv/xaTi too ayiia 
TEXetourai. Gregor. Nyssen. ad Ablabium. 'Ev Se tjj toutbv (ayytkoiv) xtLo-ii, hvln- 
aov fA.oi tbv ttpoxa-vapx'rt.xh alriav ; t£v yEVo,u.EVoov tov Ttari^a, tmv lrtfA.iovfyix.fiv tov vlw, Tr)v 
TEXEioiTiKijv to tv/iv/ao.. Basilius de Spirit. Sane. cap. 16. 

e Kat yap Xia fx.iv rr.q TtaKaiai; aig 7rt>oxa-ra£KTix<,i/ t2v oXoiV oXacv cTrarhp irpxnuf xnpvr- 
tEtoi. Kai fcvripcix; Je uioj aiq InfAioveyixw amov IfiQcnifyrai. Kai tpineq &i<; teXeiostixov 
to Ttvivua. to 'ayiov. Ta teXekutixoi yaj tZ teXei <f>£govu/<xa;j avatfiaivETai , th wpoxowji xai 
aiifcriTli tojv npayixaTaiv xai toiv p^^ovaav out ctte^oivo; avappria-ea); etti toT? aflXiTixo"; ISgZtri 
xanrk to teXo? hap[Ao£ofA,tvot;. Ala xai tov avflfawrov tr'Ka.o-a.q o ©eo? TrpSiTOt Ei'ra teXei eve- 
fvs-rta-iv e?j to ir^Qo-umw ainov 'rmvf/.a £a»fc. Jobius apud Photium. lib. 122. cap. 18. 


their natural and necessary subsistence, as, also, with regard 
unto their internal characteristical properties, whereby we 
are distinctly taught to know them and adore them. And 
the due consideration of this order of things, willdirect us 
in the right understanding of the proposals that are made 
unto our faith, concerning God, in his works and word. 

These things being premised, we proceed to consider, 
what are the peculiar operations of the Holy Spirit, as revealed 
unto us in the Scripture. Now, all the works of God may 
be referred unto two heads : — 1. Those of nature. 2. Those 
of grace. Or the works of the old and new creation. And 
we must inquire what are the especial operations of the Holy 
Spirit, in and about these works, which shall be distinctly 

The work of the old creation had two parts: — 1. That 
which concerned the inanimate part of it in general, with the 
influence it had into the production of animated or living, 
but brute creatures. 2. The rational or intelligent part of it, 
with the law of its obedience unto God, the especial uses 
and ends for which it was made. In both these sorts, we 
shall inquire after, and consider, the especial works of the 
Holy Spirit. 

The general parts of the creation, are the heavens and the 
earth. Gen. i. 1. 'In the beginning God created the hea- 
vens and the earth ;' and what belongs unto them, is called 
their host.' Gen. ii. 1. ' The heavens and the earth were 
finished, and all their host.' The host of heaven is the sun, 
moon, and stars, and the angels themselves. So are they 
called, 1 Kings xxii. 19- * I saw the Lord sitting on his throne' 
D'Di^n N2¥ Vdi and * all the host of heaven' standing by him, 
on his right hand and on his left. That is, all the holy 
angels; as, Dan. vii. 10. 2 Chron. xviii. 18. And the host 
of God, Gen. xxxii. 1, 2. ' And Jacob went on his way, and 
the angels of God met him ; and when Jacob saw them, he 
said, This is God's host.' mno ; the word he useth signi- 
fieth a host encamped; arparia ovpdviog. Luke ii. 13. 'The 
heavenly host,' or army. The sun, moon, and stars, are also 
called the host of heaven. Deut. iv. 19.  And lest thou 
shouldest lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou 
seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host 
of heaven.' So Isa. xxxiy. 4. Jer. xxxiii. 22. This was that 

h 2 


host of heaven which the Jews idolatrously worshipped ; Jer. 
viii. 2. ' They shall spread them before the sun, and the 
moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, 
and whom they have served, after whom they have walked, 
and whom they have sought, and whom they have wor- 
shipped.' The expressions are multiplied, to shew that they 
used all ways of ascribing that divine honour unto them, 
which was due to God alone, whom only they ought to have 
loved, to have served, to have walked after, to have sought 
and worshipped. So chap. xix. 13. This they called r\?bD 
D'DtiTl the 'queen of heaven;' Jer. xliv. 17. Because of its 
beauty and adornings. The ' host of the earth' is men and 
beasts, with all other creatures that either grow out of it, or 
live upon it, and are nourished by it. And these things are 
called the host of heaven and earth upon a double account. 
1. Because of their order and beautiful disposition. A host 
properly is a number of men put into a certain order, for 
some certain end or purpose. And all their strength and 
power, all their terror and beauty consisteth in, and ariseth 
from, that order. Without this they are but a confused mul- 
titude. But a host, or army with banners, is beautiful and 
terrible; Cant. vi. 10. Before things were cast into this order, 
the universe was, as it were, full of confusion ; it had no 
beauty nor glory, for the ' earth was void and without form ;' 
Gen. i. 2. Hence the Vulgar Latin, in this place, renders the 
word by ' ornatus eorum ;' all their beauty and adorning. 
For the- creation and beautiful disposal of these hosts gave 
them beauty and ornament, and thence do the Greeks call 
the world ko<tjuoc ; that is, an adorned thing. 2. Because all 
creatures in heaven and earth are God's armies, to accom- 
plish his irresistible will and pleasure. Hence he often styles 
himself the Lord of hosts; of both these hosts, that above 
of the heavens, the holy angels, and the celestial bodies; and 
that of all creatures beneath in the earth. For all these he 
useth and applieth at his pleasure, to do his will and execute 
his judgments. Thus one of those angels slew a whole host 
of men in one night ; Isa. xxxvii. 36. And it is said, that the 
' stars in their courses fought against Sisera;' Judg. v. 20. 
God overruled the influences of heaven against them, though 
it may be angels also are here intended. And among the 
meanest creatures of the earth, he calls locusts and cater- 


pillars, when he sends them to destroy a country for sin, 
his * host or army ;' Joel ii. 11. This by the way. 

Now the forming and perfecting of this host of heaven 
and earth, is that which is assigned peculiarly to the Spirit 
of God. And hereby the work of creation was completed and 
finished. First, for the heavens; Job xxvi. 13. ' By his Spirit 
he hath garnished the heavens, his hand hath formed the 
crooked serpent.' Or rather, his Spirit hath garnished. For 
msttf agrees with nn, the ' Spirit,' and not with he ; and the 
word signifies to ' adorn,' to make fair, to render beautiful to 
the eye. Thus the heavens were garnished by the Spirit of 
God, when by the creation and disposal of the aspectable 
host of them, he rendered them so glorious and beautiful as 
we behold. So the Targum, * His Spirit beautified the face 
of the heavens,' or gave them that comely beauty and order 
wherein their face appeareth unto us. Hence the heavens, as. 
adorned with the moon and stars, are said to be the ' work 
of God's fingers;' Psal. viii.3. That is, not only those which 
were powerfully made, but also curiously wrought and 
adorned by the Spirit of God. For by the finger or fingers 
of God, the Spirit of God is in an especial manner intended. 
Hence those words of our Saviour, Luke xi. 20. ' But if I with 
the finger of God, do cast out devils;' Matt. xii. 28. are, 'If 
I cast out devils by the Spirit of God.' By him were the 
heavens, as it were, curiously wrought, adorned* garnished, 
rendered beautiful and glorious, to shew forth the praise of 
his power and wisdom; Psal. xix. 1. And by the crooked 
serpent, which is added to the garnishing of the heavens, the 
Hebrews understand the galaxy, or milky way, which to the 
eye represents the moving or writhing of a serpent in the 
water. This then is peculiarly assigned to the Spirit with 
respect to the heavens and their host; the completing finish^ 
ing work is ascribed unto him, which we must understand 
by the rules before mentioned, and not exclusively to the 
other persons. 

And thus was it also in the earth. God first out of no- 
thing created the earth, which comprised the whole inferior 
globe, which afterward divided itself into seas and dry land; 
as the heavens contain in that expression of their creation all 
that is above and over it. The whole material mass of earth 
and water, wherewith probably the more solid and firm sub,- 


stance was covered, and as it were overwhelmed, is intended 
by that earth which was first created. For immediately there 
is mention made of the deeps, and the waters, without any 
intimation of their production, but what is contained in that 
of the creation of the earth; Gen. i. 2. This mass being thus 
framed and mixed, the ' Spirit of God moved oh the face of 
the waters ;' not taken distinctly, but as containing that ra- 
dical humour, which was the material principle of life and 
being unto all creatures. ED>nn >JD bjf nsmo OTVPN nm. 
The word Merachepheth signifies an easy gentle motion, 
such as a dove, or other fowl useth over its nest or young 
ones, either to communicate vital heat unto its eggs, or to 
cherish and defend its young. And this will no way consist 
with that exposition which some would give in this place of 
CD'H^N rm Ruah they say here signifies the ' wind,' as it doth 
sometimes ; and it is called the ' wind of God,' because it was 
great and mighty. For this phrase of speech is usual in the 
sacred language, to set out the greatness and singular emi- 
nency of any thing. So a great trembling, is called a ' trem- 
bling of God ;' 1 Sam. xiv. 15. the ' cedars of God,' and the 
like. But, (1.) When was this wind created? the meteors 
were not made before the fourth day, with the firmament, the 
place of their residence. And whence or what this wind 
should be is not to be discovered. (2.) The word here used 
signifies such an * easy and gentle motion' as is in birds 
when they move themselves upon their nests. And it is but 
three times used in the Scripture : in this place, and Deut. 
xxxii. 11. Jerem. xxiii. 9. In Deuteronomy it is expressly 
applied unto the ' motion of an eagle' over her young, for 
their safety, protection, and growth. VD33 W\D> ^ITV as an 
eagle 'fluttereth, spreading her wings over her young ;' and 
in the other place, we render it ' shake.' All ' my bones shake ;' 
that is, are in a trembling motion, like the feathers of a fowl 
over her nest. No such great and violent wind, therefore, 
as from thence should be called a wind of God, can be in- 
tended in this place. But it is the Spirit of God himself 
and his work that is expressed. 

This, therefore, was the work of the Holy Spirit of God in 
reference unto the earth and the host thereof. The whole 
matter being created out of which all living creatures were 
to be educed, and of which they were to be made, he takes 


upon him the cherishing and preservation of it, that as it had 
its subsistence by the power of the word of God, it might 
be carried on towards that form, order, beauty, and perfec- 
tion, that it was designed unto. To this purpose he com- 
municated unto it a quickening and prolific virtue, inlaying 
it with the seeds of animal life unto all kinds of things. 
Hence, upon the command of God, it brought forth all sorts 
of creatures in abundance, according to the seeds and princi- 
ples of life which were communicated unto the rude inform 
chaos, by the cherishing motion of the Holy Spirit. With- 
out him all was a dead sea, a confused deep, with darkness 
upon it, able to bring forth nothing, nor more prepared to 
bring forth any one thing than another. But by the moving 
of the Spirit of God upon it, the principles of all those kinds, 
sorts, and forms of things, which, in an inconceivable variety, 
make up its host and ornament, were communicated unto it. 
And this is a better account of the original of all things in 
their several kinds, than any is given by ancient or modern 
philosophers. And hence was the old tradition of all things 
being formed of water ; which the apostle alludes unto, 2 Pet. 
iii. 5. The whole is declared by Cyprian, whose words I have 
therefore transcribed at large f . And as at the first creation 
so in the course of providence, this work of cherishing and 

f Hie Spiritus Sanctus ab ipso mundi initio aquis legitur superfusus ; non materi- 
alibus aquis quasi vehiculo egens, quas potius ipse ferebat, et complectentibus fir- 
mamentum dabat congruum motuiii et limitem praefinitum. Hujussempiterna virtus 
et divinitas, cum in propria natura ab inquisitoribus mundi antiquis philosophis pro- 
prie iuvestigari non posset, subtiliss'unis tamen intuiti sunt conjeoturis compositionem 
mundi; compositis et distinctis elementorum affectibus presentem omnibus aniniam 
affuisse, qua? secundum genus et ordinem singuloruin vitam pneberet et motum, et 
intransgressibiles figeret metas, et stabilitalem assignaret et usum. Hanc vitam, 
hunc motum, hanc rerum essentiam.animam mundi philosophi vocaverunt, putantes 
ceelestia corpora, solem dico lunam et Stellas ipsumque firmamentum hujus animae 
virtute moveri et regi, et aquas, et terram, et aerem hujus semine impraegnari. Qui 
si spiritum et dominum, et creatorem, et viviticatorem, et nutritorem crederent om- 
nium qua? sub ipso sunt, convenientem haberent ad vitam accessum. Sed abscondita 
est asapientibus, et prudentibus tantae rei majestas; nee potuit humani fastus ingenii 
secretis interesse ca?lestibus, et penetrare ad supere- ntialis naturae altitudinem; et 
licet intelligerent, quod vere esset creatrix et gubernatrix rerum Divinitas, distin- 
guere tamen nullo modo potuerunt qua? esset DeitatisTrinitas, vel quaeunitas vel qua; 
personarum proprietas. — Hie est Spiritus vita? cujus vivificus calor animat omnia et 
fovet et provehit et faecundat. Hie omnium viventium anima, ita largitate sua se 
omnibus abundanter infundit, ut habeant omnia rationabilia et irrationabilia secun- 
dum genus suum ex eo quod sunt, et quod in suo ordine sua? naturae competentia 
agunt; non quod ipse sit substantialis anima singulis, sed in se singulariter manens, 
de plenitudine sua distributor magnificus proprias efficientias singulis dividit et lar- 
gitur; et quasi sol omnia calefaciens subjecta, omnia nutrit, el absque ullasui dimi- 
nutione, integritatcm suam de inexhausla abundantia quod satis est et sufficit omni- 
bus commodat et impartit. Cyprian, lib. de Spirit. Sanct. 


nourishing the creatures is assigned in an especial manner 
unto the Spirit; Psal. civ. 30. ' Thou sendest forth thy 
Spirit, they are created ; and thou renewest the face of the 
earth.' The making or creation of things here intended, is not 
the first great work of the creation of all but the daily pro- 
duction of creatures in and according to their kind. For in 
the verse foregoing, the Psalmist treats of the decay of all 
sorts of creatures in the world, by a providential cutting off 
and finishing of their lives, ver. 29. ' Thou hidest thyface, they 
are troubled ; thou takest away their breath, they die and re- 
turn unto their dust.' That under this continual decay and 
dying of all sorts of creatures, the world doth not come to 
emptiness and desolation ; the only reason is, because the 
Spirit of God whose office and work it is to uphold and pre- 
serve all things continually, produceth by his power a new 
supply of creatures in the room of them that fall off like 
leaves from the trees, and return to their dust every day. 
And whereas the earth itself, the common nurse of them all, 
seems in the revolution of every year to be at an end of its 
use and work, having death brought upon the face of it, and 
oft-times entering deep into its bowels, the Spirit of God by 
its influential concurrence renews it again, causing every 
thing afresh to bring forth fruit according unto its kind, 
whereby its face receiveth a new beauty and adorning. And 
this is the substance of what the Scripture expressly asserts 
concerning the work of the Spirit of God towards the inani- 
mate part of the creation. His actings in reference unto man, 
and that obedience which he owed to God according to the 
law and covenant of his creation, is nextly to be considered. 
Man in his creation falleth under a two-fold notion. For 
he may be considered either merely naturally, as to the es- 
sentially constitutive parts of his being ; or morally also, with 
reference unto his principles of obedience; the law given unto 
him, and the end proposed as his reward. And these things 
are distinctly proposed unto our contemplation in the Scrip- 
ture. The first is expressed Gen. ii. 7. 'And the Lord God 
formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his 
nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.' 
(1.) There is the matter whereof he was formed ; (2.) The quick- 
ening principle added thereunto ; and, (3.) The effect of their 
conjunction and union. For the matter he was made of, it 


is said he was formed nD*mn ?0 "IDJ? * dust of the ground,' or 
dust gathered together on a heap from and upon the ground, 
^an miDV twn,Prov.viii.26. So is God the great Srjfiiovpyog, 
the universal framer of all, represented as an artificer, who 
first prepares his matter and then forms it as it seemeth good 
unto him. And this is mentioned for two ends ; First, To 
set forth the excellency, power, and wisdom of God, who out 
of such vile contemptible matter, as a heap of dust swept as 
it were together on the ground, could and did make so excel- 
lent, curious, and glorious a fabric as is the body of man, or 
as was the body of Adam before the fall. Secondly, To mind 
man of his original, that he might be kept humble, and in a 
meet dependence on the wisdom and bounty of his Creator; 
for thence it was, and not from the original matter whereof 
he was made, that he became so excellent. Hereof Abraham 
makes his solemn acknowledgment before the Lord ; Gen. 
xviii. 27. ' Behold I have taken upon me to speak unto the 
Lord which am but dust and ashes.' He abaseth himself 
with the remembrance of his original. And this, as it were, 
God reproacheth Adam withal upon his sin and transgres- 
sion; Gen. iii. 19. 'Thou shalt return unto the ground, for 
out of it wast, thou taken. For dust thou art, and unto 
dust thou shalt return.' He lets him know that he had now 
by sin lost that immortality which he was made in a condi- 
tion to have enjoyed ; and that his body according to his 
nature and constitution, should return again into its first 
principles or the dust of the earth. 

Into this formed dust, secondly, God breathed JTOtM 
CD'TT ; the 'breath of life;' Divine aura particulam, ' a vital 
immortal spirit.' This God breathed into him as giving him 
something of himself, somewhat immediately of his own, not 
made out of any procreated matter. This is the rational soul 
or intelligent spirit. Thus man became a middle creature 
between the angels above, and the sensitive animals below. 
His body was formed as the beasts from the matter made the 
first day, and digested into dry land on the third day-: His 
soul was an immediate production of, and emanation from, 
the divine power as the angels were. So when in the works 
of the new creation our blessed Saviour bestowed the Holy 
Ghost oh his disciples, he breathed on them as a sign that 
he gave them something of his own. This celestial spirit, 


this heavenly breath, was unto man a quickening principle. 
For, thirdly, the effect hereof is, that man became irn WQib a 
' living soul.' His body was hereby animated, and capable of 
all vital acts. Hence he could move, eat, see, hear, &c. for 
the natural effects of this breath of life, are only intended in 
this expression. Thus the ' first man Adam was made a living 
soul;' 1 Cor. xv. 45. This was the creation of man, as unto 
the essentially constituting principles of his nature. 

With respect unto his moral condition, and principle of 
obedience unto God, it is expressed, Gen. i. 26, 27. 'And 
God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our 
likeness ; and let them have dominion ; so God created man 
in his own image, in the image of God created he him.' 
He made him 'upright;' Eccles. vii. 29. perfect in his condi- 
tion ; every way complete, fit, disposed, and able [o and for 
the obedience required of him. Without weakness, distem- 
per, disease ; contrariety of principles, inclinations, or rea- 
sonings. A universal rectitude of nature, consisting in light, 
power, and order, in his understanding, mind, and affections, 
was the principal part of this image of God, wherein he was 
created. And this appears, as from the nature of the thing 
itself, so from the description which the apostle giveth us of 
the renovation of that image in us by the grace of Christ ; 
Eph. iv.24. Col. iii. 10. And under both these considerations, 
we may weigh the especial operations of the Spirit of God. 
First, As to the essential principles of the nature of man, 
it is not for nothing that God expresseth his communication 
of a spirit of life by his breathing into him. ' God breathed 
into his nostrils the breath of life.' The Spirit of God and 
the breath of God are the same ; only the one expression is 
proper, the other metaphorical ; wherefore this breathing is 
the especial acting of the Spirit of God. The creation of 
the human soul, a vital immortal principle and being, is the 
immediate work of the Spirit of God ; Job xxxiii. 4. * The 
Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty 
hath given me life.' Here indeed the creation and produc- 
tion of both the essential parts of human nature, body and 
soul, are ascribed unto the same author. For the Spirit of 
God and the breath of God are the same ; but several effects 
being mentioned, causeth a repetition of the same cause un- 
der several names. This Spirit of God first made man, or 


formed his body of the dust, and then gave him that breath 
of life whereby he became a 'living soul.' So then under this 
first consideration, the creation of man is assigned unto the 
Holy Spirit ; for man was the perfection of the inferior crea- 
tion, and in order unto the glory of God, by him were all 
other things created. Here, therefore, are his operations 
distinctly declared, to whom the perfecting and completing 
of all divine works is peculiarly committed. 

Secondly, We may consider the moral slate, and condi- 
tion of man, with the furniture of his mind and soul, in re- 
ference unto his obedience to God, and his enjoyment of him. 
This was the principal part of that image of God, wherein he 
was created. Three things were required to render man ido- 
neous, or fit unto that life to God, for which he was made. 
First, An ability to discern the mind and will of God, with 
respect unto all the duty and obedience that God required of 
him ; as also so far to know the nature and properties of 
God, as to believe him the only proper object of all acts and 
duties of religious obedience, and an all-sufficient satisfac- 
tion and reward in this world, and to eternity. Secondly, 
A free, uncontrolled, unentangled disposition to every duty 
of the law of his creation, in order unto living unto God. 
Thirdly, An ability of mind and will, with a readiness of 
compliance in his affections, for a due regular performance 
of all duties and abstinence from all sin. These things be- 
longed unto the integrity of his nature, with the uprightness 
of the state and condition, wherein he was made. And all 
these things were the peculiar effects of the immediate ope- 
ration of the Holy Ghost. For although this rectitude of his 
nature, be distinguishable and separable from the faculties 
of the soul of man ; yet in his first creation they were not 
actually distinguished from them, nor superadded or infused 
into them when created, but were concreated with them ; 
that is, his soul was made meet and able to live to God, as 
his sovereign lord, chiefest good, and last end. And so they 
were all from the Holy Ghost, from whom the soul was, as 
hath been declared. Yea, suppose these abilities to be su- 
peradded unto man's natural faculties, as gifts supernatural 
(which yet is not so), they must be acknowledged in a pecu- 
liar manner to be from the Holy Spirit. For in the restora- 
tion of these abilities unto our minds, in our renovation unto 


the image of God in the gospel, it is plainly asserted that the 
Holy Ghost is the immediate operator of them. And he doth 
thereby restore his own work, and not take the work of an- 
other out of his hand. For in the new creation the Father, 
in the way of authority, designs it and brings all things unto 
a head in Christ, Eph. i. 10. which retrieved his original pe- 
culiar work ; and the Son gave unto all things a new consist- 
ency, which belonged unto him from the beginning; Col. i. 16. 
So also the Holy Spirit renews in us the image of God, the 
original implantation whereof was his peculiar work. And 
thus Adam may be said to have had the Spirit of God in his 
innocency. He had him in these peculiar effects of his power 
and goodness, and he had him according to the tenor of that 
covenant, whereby it was possible that he should utterly lose 
him, as accordingly it came to pass. He had him not by es- 
pecial inhabitation, for the whole world was then the temple 
of God. In the covenant of grace founded in the person and 
on the mediation of Christ, it is otherwise. On whomsoever 
the Spirit of God is bestowed for the renovation of the image 
of God in him, he abides with him for ever. But in all men 
from first to last, all goodness, righteousness, and truth, are 
the fruits of the Spirit; Eph. v, 9, 

The works of God being thus finished, and the whole 
frame of nature set upon its wheels, it is not deserted ,by the 
Spirit of God. For as the preservation, continuance, and 
acting of all things in the universe, according to their espe- 
cial nature and mutual application of one unto another, are 
all from the powerful and efficacious influences of divine 
Providence ; so there are particular operations of the Holy 
Spirit in and about all things, whether merely natural and 
animal, or also rational and moral. An instance in each 
kind may suffice. For the first (as we have shewed), the pro- 
pagation of the succeeding generations of creatures, and the 
annual renovation of the face of the earth are ascribed unto 
him; Psal. civ. 30. For as we would own the due and just 
powers and operations of second causes, so we abhor that 
atheism which ascribes unto them an origjnal and indepen- 
dent efficacy and casualty, without a previous acting in, by, 
and upon them, of the power of God. And this is here as- 
cribed unto the Spirit, whom God sendeth forth unto that 
end and purpose. As to rational and moral actions, such as 


the great affairs of the world do consist in and are disposed 
of by, he hath in them also a peculiar efficiency. Thus those 
great virtues of wisdom, courage, and fortitude, which have 
been used for the producing of great effects in the world, are 
of his especial operation. So when God stirred up men to 
rule and govern his people of old, to fight against and to sub- 
due their enemies, it is said the *- Spirit of God came upon 
them ;' Judg. iii. 10. The ' Spirit of the Lord came upon 
Othniel,' and he 'judged Israel and went out to war.' The 
Spirit of God endued him with wisdom for government, and 
with courage and skill in conduct for war. So Judg. vi. 34. 
And although instances hereof are given us principally among 
the people of God, yet wherever men in the world have been 
raised up to do great and wonderful things, w T hereby God 
executeth his judgments, fulfilleth any of his promises or his 
threatenings, even they also have received of the especial 
gifts and assistances of the Holy Spirit of God. For this 
reason is Cyrus expressly called ' God's anointed ;' Isa. xlv. 1. 
Cyrus had by God's designation a great and mighty work to 
effect. He was utterly to ruin and destroy the great, an- 
cient, Babylonian monarchy. God had a concern herein, as 
to the avenging of the quarrel of his people, and therein the 
accomplishment of many promises and threatenings. The 
w T ork itself was great, arduous, and insuperable to ordinary 
human abilities. Wherefore God f sends his Spirit' to fill 
Cyrus with wisdom, courage, skill in all military affairs, that 
he might go through with the work whereunto in the provi- 
dence of God he was designed. Hence is he called 'God's 
anointed,' because the unction of kings of old was an insti- 
tuted sign of the communication of the gifts of the Holy 
Ghost for government unto them; see Isa. xlv. 1 — 5. and 
other instances of the like kind might be given. 

Thus, when the church was to have a blessed restora- 
tion of the worship of God after the return of the people 
from their captivity, Zerubbabel is in an especial manner 
called to begin and carry on this work in the building of the 
temple. But the difficulties he had to conflict withal were 
o-reat, and appeared insuperable. The people were few and 
poor, and the oppositions made unto them and their work 
great and many. Especially what arose from the power of 
the Persian monarchy under whose rule and oppression they 


were. For although they had permission and encouragement 
from Cyrus for their work, yet immediately upon his death 
they were oppressed again, and their 'work caused to cease.' 
This power they could no way conflict withal ; yet God tells 
them that all this opposition shall be removed and conquer- 
ed. ' Who art thou,' saith he, ' O great mountain? before 
Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain ;' Zech. iv. 7. All the 
hinderance that arose from that great mountain of the Per- 
sian empire shall be removed out of the way, and the pro- 
gress of Zerubbabel in his work shall be made smooth, plain, 
and easy. But how shall this be effected and brought about? 
Not by an ' army, or by might, nor by power, but by my 
Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts;' ver. 6. You would suppose 
that it must be done by armies aud open force, which you 
are altogether insufficient for. But this is not the way I 
will take in this matter. My Spirit shall work in their 
hearts, minds, and counsels, that contrary to their fears they 
shall themselves farther that work which hitherto they have 
impeded. And he shall work in the minds and counsels of 
others to oppose them and entangle them where they would 
hinder it, until they are destroyed, and that great mountain 
be fully removed : as in the event it came to pass. So that 
the providential alterations that are wrought in the world, 
are effects of his power and efficacy also. 

And thus have we taken a short view of the dispensation 
and work of the Spirit of God in theirs* creation. But the 
effect hereof being a state of things that quickly passed 
away, and being of no advantage to the church after the en- 
trance of sin, what belonged unto it is but sparingly deliver- 
ed in the Scriptures ; the true sense of what is so delivered 
depending much on the analogy of the following works of 
God in man's renovation and recovery. But as to the new 
creation (which falls under our consideration in the next 
place, as that alone which is directly intended by us), the 
foundation, building up, and finishing the church of God therein, 
being the things whereon depends the principal manifestation 
of the glory of God, and wherein the great concerns of all 
the elect do lie, they are more fully and directly declared in 
the Scripture. And in reference unto them we shall find a 
full distinct declaration of the whole dispensation and work 
of the Spirit of God. 







Dispensation of the Spirit to be learned from the Scripture only ; general 
adjuncts thereof. The administration of the Spirit and his own applica- 
tion of himself to his work how expressed. The Spirit how and in what 
sense given and received. What is included in the giving of the Spirit. 
What in receiving of him. Privilege and advantage in receiving the Spi- 
rit. How God is said to send the Spirit ; what is included in sending. 
How God ministers the Spirit. How God is said to put his Spirit on us; 
what is included in that expression. The Spirit how poured out. What 
is included and intended herein. The ways of the Spirit's application of 
himself unto his work. His proceeding from Father and Son explained. 
How he cometh unto us. His falling on men. His resting. How and in 
what sense he is said to depart from any person. Of the divisions of the 
Holy Ghost; Heb. ii. 3. Exposition of them vinelicated. 

Before we treat of the especial operations, works, and 
effects, of the Holy Ghost in and on the new creation, the or- 
der of things requires, that we should first speak somewhat 
of the general nature of God's dispensation of him, and of 
his own applications of himself unto his actings and work- 
ings in this matter. For this is the foundation of all that he 
doth, and this for our edification we are instructed in by the 
Scriptures. Unto them in this whole discourse we must 
diligently attend; for we are exercised in such a subject as 
wherein we have no rule nor guide, nor any thing to give us 
assistance but pure revelation. And what I have to offer 
concerning these things, consists upon the matter solely in 
the explication of those places of Scripture wherein they are 
revealed. We must, therefore, consider, 


I. What we are taught on the part of God the Father, 
with respect unto the Holy Spirit and his work ; and, 

II. What relates immediately unto himself. 

I. God's disposal of the Spirit unto his work, is five 
ways expressed in the Scripture. For he is said, 1 . To give or 
bestow him ; 2. To send him ; 3. To administer him ; 4. To pour 
him out ; 5. To put him on us. And his own application of 
himself unto his work is likewise five ways expressed. For 
he is said, 1. To proceed; 2. To come, or come upon ; 3. To fcdl 
on men; 4. To rest; and, 5. To depart. These things contain- 
ing the general manner of his administration and dispensa- 
tion, must be first spoken unto. 

First, He is said to he given of God ; that is, of God the 
Father, who is said to give him in an especial manner. Luke 
xi. 13. ' Your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to 
them that ask him.' John iii. 34. ' He hath given his Spirit 
unto us.' 1 John iii. 24. Johnxiv. 16. 'The Father shall give 
you another Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost;' ver. 26. 
And in answer unto this act of God, those on whom he 
is bestowed are said to receive him. John vii. 39. ' This he 
spake of the Spirit which they that believe on him should 
receive.' 1 Cor. ii. 12. ' We have received the Spirit which is 
of God.' 2 Cor. xi. 4. 'If you have received another Spirit 
which you had not received;' where the receiving of the 
Spirit is made a matter common unto all believers. So 
Gal. iii. 2. Acts viii. 15. 19. John xiv. 17. xx. 22. For 
these two, giving and receiving, are related ; the one sup- 
posing the other. And this expression of the dispensa- 
tion of the Holy Ghost is irreconcilable unto the opinion 
before rejected ; namely, that he is nothing but a transient 
accident, or an occasional emanation of the power of God. 
For how, or in what sense can an act of the power of God be 
given by him, or be received by us ? It can indeed in no 
sense be either the object of God's giving or of our receiv- 
ing, especially as this is explained in those other expressions 
of the same thing before laid down, and afterward consi- 
dered. It must be somewhat that hath a subsistence of its 
own, that is thus given and received. So the Lord Christ is 
frequently said to be given of God and received by us. It 
is true we may be said in another sense to 'receive the grace 
of God.' Which is the exception of the Socinians unto this 


consideration, and the constant practice they use to evade 
plain testimonies of the Scripture. For if they can find any 
words in them used elsewhere in another sense, they sup- 
pose it sufficient to contradict their plain design and proper 
meaning in another place. Thus we are exhorted * not to 
receive the grace of God in vain;' 2 Cor. vi. 1. I answer, the 
grace of God may be considered two ways. 1. Objectively, 
for the revelation or doctrine of grace; as Tit. ii. 11, 12. 
So we are said to receive it, when we believe and profess it, 
in opposition unto them by whom it is opposed and rejected. 
And this is the same with our receiving the word preached, 
so often mentioned in the Scripture; Acts ii. 41. James i. 
21. which is by faith, to give it entertainment in our hearts; 
which is the meaning of the word in this place, 2 Cor. vi. 1. 
Having taken the profession of the doctrine of grace, that 
is of the gospel, upon us, we ought to express its power in 
holiness and suitable obedience, without which, it will be of 
no use or benefit unto us. And the grace of God is some- 
times, 2. Taken subjectively, for the grace which God is 
pleased to communicate unto us, or gracious qualities that 
he works in our souls by his Spirit. In this sense, also, we 
are sometimes said to receive it; 1 Cor. iv.7. ' Who make th 
thee to differ from another, and what hast thou which thou 
didst not receive ;' where the apostle speaketh both of the 
gifts and graces of the Spirit. And the reason hereof, is, 
because in the communication of internal grace unto us, we 
contribute nothing to the procurement of it, but are merely 
capable recipient subjects. And this grace, is a quality or 
spiritual habit, permanent and abiding in the soul. But in 
neither of these senses, can we be said to receive the Spirit 
of God, nor God to give him, if he be only the power of God 
making an impression on our minds and spirits; no more 
than a man can be said to receive the sun- beams, which 
cause heat in him by their natural efficacy, falling on him. 
Much less can the giving and receiving of the Spirit be so 
interpreted, considering what is said of his being sent, and 
his own coming, with the like declarations of God's dispen- 
sation of him, whereof afterward. 

Now this giving of the Spirit, as it is the act of him by 
whom he is given, denotes authority, freedom, and bounty ; and 
on the part of them that receive him, privilege and advantage. 
VOL. it. i 


1. Authority. He that gives any thing, hath authority to 
dispose of it. None can give but of his own, and that which 
in some sense he hath in his power. Now the Father is said 
to give the Spirit, and that upon our request ; as Luke xi. 
13. This I acknowledge wants not some difficulty in its 
explication. For if the Holy Ghost be God himself, as hath 
been declared, how can he be said to be given by the Father, 
as it were, in a way of authority ? But keeping ourselves 
to the sacred rule of truth, we may solve this difficulty with- 
out curiosity or danger. Wherefore, (1.) The order of the sub- 
sistence of the three persons, in the divine nature, is regarded 
herein. For the Father, as hath been shewed, is the foun- 
tain and original of the Trinity, the Son being of him, and 
the Spirit of them both. Hence, he is to be considered as 
the principal author and cause of all those works which are 
immediately wrought by either of them. For of whom the 
Son and Spirit have their essence, as to their personality, 
from him have they life and power of operation ; John v. 
19. 26. Therefore, when the Holy Spirit comes unto any, 
the Father is said to give him, for he is the Spirit of the 
Father. And this authority of the Father doth immediately 
respect the work itself, and not the person working. But 
the person is said to be given for the work's sake. (2.) The 
economy of the blessed Trinity in the work of our redemp- 
tion and salvation, is respected in this order of things. The 
fountain hereof lies in the love, wisdom, grace, and counsel 
of the Father. Whatever is done in the pursuit hereof, is 
originally the gift of the Father, because it is designed unto 
no other end, but to make his grace effectual. Hence is he 
said to send and give his Son also. And the whole work of 
the Holy Ghost, as our sanctifier, guide, comforter, and ad- 
vocate, is to make the love of the Father effectual unto us ; 
John x. 13, 14*. As this, out of his own love and care, he 
hath condescended unto, so the fountain of it being in the 
love and purpose of the Father, and that also, or the making 
them effectual, being their end, he is rightly said to be 
given of him. (3.) In the whole communication of the Spirit, 
respect is had unto his effects, or the ends for which he is 
given. What they are, shall be afterward declared. Now 

» 'awo9-teXXet«» fxev to imvp* to ayiov oixovo|Ui>c«?, ivtgyu Se <*ute£mwi»?. Basil. Horn. 
15. de fide. 


the authority of this giving, respects principally his gifts and 
graces, which depend on the authority of the Father. 

2. This expression denotes freedom. What is given 
might be withheld. This is the gift of God, (as he is called 
John iv. 10.) not the purchase of our endeavours, nor the 
reward of our desert. Some men delight to talk of their 
purchasing grace and glory. But the one and the other are 
to be ' bought without money and without price.' Even 
eternal life itself, the end of all our obedience, is the 'gift of 
God, through Jesus Christ our Lord;' Rom. vi. 23. The 
Scripture knows of no earnings that men can make of them- 
selves, but death. For as Austin says, ' Quicquid tuum est 
peccatura est;' and the wages of sin is death. To what end 
or purpose soever the Spirit is bestowed upon us, whether 
it be for the communication of grace, or the distribution of 
gifts, or for consolation and refreshment, it is of the mere 
gift of God, from his absolute and sovereign freedom. 

(Secondly,) In answer hereunto, they are said to receive 
him, on whom as a. gift he is bestowed; as in the testimo- 
nies before mentioned. And in receiving, two things are 
implied. 1. That we contribute nothing thereunto, which 
should take off from the thing received as a gift. Receiving 
answers giving, and that implies freedom in the giver. 2. 
That it is their privilege and advantage. For what a man 
receives, he doth it for his own good. First, then we have 
him freely, as a gift of God. For to receive him in general, 
is to be made partaker of him, as unto those ends for which 
he is given of God. Be those ends what they will, in re- 
spect of them, they are said to receive him who are made 
partakers of him. Two things may be pleaded to take off 
the freedom of this gift, and of our reception, and to cast it 
on something necessary and required on our part. For, (1.) 
our Saviour tells us, * that the world cannot receive him, 
because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him ;' John xiv. 
17. Now if the world cannot receive him, there is required 
an ability and preparation in them that do so, that are not in 
the world; ahd so the gift and communication of the Spirit 
depends on that qualification in us. But all men are natu- 
rally alike the woild, and of it. No one man by nature, 
hath more ability or strength in spiritual things than an- 
other. For all are equally dead in trespasses and sins, all 



equally children of wrath. It must, therefore, be inquired, 
how some come to have this ability and power to receive 
the Spirit of God, which others have not. Now this, as I 
shall fully manifest afterward, is merely from the Holy 
Ghost himself and his grace ; respect being had herein only 
unto the order of his operations in us, some being prepara- 
tory for, and dispositive unto other: one being instituted, 
as the means of obtaining another, the whole being the effect 
of the free gift of God. For we do not make ourselves to 
differ from others, nor have we any thing that we have not 
received; 1 Cor. iv. 7. Wherefore, the receiving of the 
Holy Ghost,'intended in that expression of our Saviour, with 
respect whereunto some are able to receive him, some are 
not, is not absolute, but with respect unto some certain 
work and end. And this, as is plain in the context, is the 
receiving of him, as a comforter and a guide in spiritual 
truth. Hereunto faith in Christ Jesus, which also is an 
effect and fruit of the same Spirit, is antecedently required. 
In this sense, therefore, believers alone can receive him, and 
are enabled so to do by the grace which they have received 
from him in their first conversion unto God. But, (2.) it 
will be said that we are bound to pray for him before we 
receive him; and therefore, the bestowing of him depends 
on a condition to be by us fulfilled. For the promise is, 
' that our heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit unto 
them that ask him;' Luke xi. 13. But this doth not prove 
the bestowing and receiving of him not to be absolutely 
free. Nay, it proves the contrary. It is gratia indebita, 
' undeserved grace,' that is the proper object of prayer. And 
God, by these encouraging promises doth not abridge the 
liberty of his own will, nor derogate from the freedom of his 
gifts and grace, but only directs us into the way whereby 
we may be made partakers of them, unto his glory and our 
own advantage. And this also belongs unto the order of 
the communication of the grace of the Spirit unto us. This 
very praying for the Spirit, is a duty which we cannot per- 
form without his assistance. For ' no man can call Jesus 
Lord, but by the Holy Ghost;' 1 Cor. xii. 3. He helps us 
as a Spirit of grace and supplication, to pray for him as a 
Spirit of joy and consolation. 

3. This is such a gift as in God proceeds from bounty. 


For God is said to give him unto us richly ; Tit. iii. 6. This 
will be spoken unto in the fourth way of his communication. 
Only I say at present, the greatness of a gift, the free mind 
of the giver, and want of desert or merit in the receiver, are 
that which declare bounty to be the spring and fountain of 
it. And all these concur to the height in God's giving of 
the Holy Ghost. 

Again, On the part of them who receive this gift, privilege 
and advantage are intimated. They receive a gift, and that 
from God, and that a great and singular gift, from divine 
bounty. Some, indeed, receive him in a sort, as to some 
ends and purposes, without any advantage finally unto their 
own souls. So do they who ' prophesy and cast out devils 
by his power, in the name of Christ,' and yet continuing 
workers of iniquity are rejected at the last day ; Matt. vii. 
22, 23. Thus it is with all who receive his gifts, only with- 
out his grace, to sanctify their persons and their gifts, and 
this whether they be ordinary or extraordinary; but this is 
only by accident. There is no gift of the Holy Ghost but 
is good in its own nature, tending to a good end, and is 
proper for the good and advantage of them by whom it is 
received. And although the direct end of some of them be 
not the spiritual good of them on whom they are bestowed, 
but the edification of others; 'for the manifestation of the 
Spirit is given unto every man to profit withal ;' 1 Cor. iv. 
12. 17. yet there is that excellency and worth in them, and 
that use may be made of them, as to turn greatly to the ad- 
vantage of them that receive them. For although they are 
not grace, yet they serve to stir up and give an edge unto 
grace, and to draw it out unto exercise, whereby it is 
strengthened and increased. And they have an influence 
into glory; for it is by the abilities which they give that 
some are made wise and effectual instruments, for the ' turn- 
ing of many to. righteousness,' who shall shine as the bright- 
ness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever ; 
Dan. xii. 3. But the unbelief, ingratitude, and lusts of 
men, can spoil these, and any other good things whatever. 
And these things will afterward in particular fall under our 
consideration. In general, to be made partaker of the Holy 
Ghost, is an inestimable privilege and advantage, and as 
such is proposed by our Saviour; John xiv. 17. 


Secondly, God is said to send him. Psal. civ. 30. 'Thou 
sendest forth thy Spirit.' John xiv. 26. 'The Father will 
send the Holy Ghost in my name.' This is also spoken of 
the Son ; ' I will send unto you the Comforter from the 
Father;' John xv. 26. xvi. 7. And in the accomplish- 
ment of that promise, it is said, he ' poured him forth ;' Acts 
ii. 33. Gal. iv. 6. ' God hath sent forth the Spirit of his 
Son in your hearts ;' and in other places, the same expression 
is used. Now this, upon the matter, is the same with the 
former of giving him, arguing the same authority, the same 
freedom, the same bounty. Only the word naturally in- 
cludes in its signification, a respect unto a local motion. 
He which is sent, removeth from the place where he was, 
from whence he is sent, unto a place where he was not, 
whither he was sent. Now this, cannot properly be spoken 
of the Holy Ghost. For he being God by nature, is natu- 
rally omnipresent, and an omnipresence is inconsistent with 
a local mutation. So the Psalmist expressly, Psal. cxxxix. 
7, 8. ' Whither shall I go from thy Spirit ? or whither shall 
I flee from thy presence ? if I ascend up into heaven/ &c. 
There must, therefore, a metaphor be allowed in this ex- 
pression, but such a one as the Scripture, by the frequent 
use of it, hath rendered familiar unto us. Thus God is 
said to ' arise out of his place, to bow the heavens and 
come down ; to come down and see what is done in the 
earth;' Gen. xviii. 21. Isa. lxiv. 1. That these things 
are not spoken properly of God who is immense, all men 
acknowledge. But where God begins to work in any 
place, in any kind, where before he did not do so, he is 
said to come thither; for so must we do, we must come 
to a place before we can work in it. Thus the sending of 
the Holy Ghost includeth two things as added unto his 
being given. 1. That he was not before in or with that 
person, or amongst those persons for that especial work and 
end which he is sent for. He may be in them and with 
them in one respect, and be afterward said to be sent unto 
them in another : so our Lord Jesus Christ promiseth to send 
the Holy Ghost unto his disciples as a comforter, whom they 
had received before as a sanctifier. ' I will/ saith he, t send 
him unto you, and you know him, for he dwelleth with you;' 
John xiv. 17. He did so as a sanctifier before he came unto 


them as a comforter. But in every coming of bis, he is sent 
for one especial work or another. And this sufficiently mani- 
fests, that in his gifts and graces he is not common unto all. 
A supposition thereof would leave noplace for this especial 
act of sending him, which is done by choice and distinction 
of the object. Much less is he a light which is always in 
all men, and which all men may be in if they please. For 
this neither is nor can be absent in any sense from any one 
at any time. 2. It denotes an especial work there or on 
them, where and on whom, there was none before of that 
kind. For this cause is he said to be sent of the Father b . 
No local motion then is intended in this expression, only 
there is an allusion thereunto. For as a creature cannot pro- 
duce any effects where it is not, until it either be sent thi- 
ther, or go thither of its own accord; so the Holy Ghost 
produceth not the blessed effects of his power and grace, 
but in and towards them unto whom he is given and sent by 
the Father. How in answer hereunto he is said himself to 
come, shall be afterward declared. And it is the person of 
the Spirit which is said to be thus sent; for this belongs unto 
that holy dispensation of the several persons of the Trinity 
in the work of our salvation. And herein the Spirit in all 
his operations is considered as sent of the Father, for the 
reasons before often intimated. 

Thirdly, God is said to ' minister the Spirit;' Gal. iii. 5. 
' He that ministereth the Spirit unto you,' 6 ovv en-ixopyyuv 
vfilv to Trvavfia; 'he that gives you continual or abundant sup- 
plies of the Spirit.' Xoprjyao, is 'to give a sufficiency of any 
thing ;' and yojorjyia and Yoprjyrj|iia are dimensum, ' a sufficiency 
of provision.' An addition thereunto is linyppyyia, whereby 
the communication of the Spirit is expressed; Phil. i. 19. 
' For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your 
prayers, nai £7rixop*?7i«C tov irvev/xaTog 'I-qoov Xpiarov, and the 
additional supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.' That Spirit, 
and its assistance, he had before received ; but he yet stood 

b Etenim si de loco procedit Spiritus et in locum transit, et ipse Pater in loco inve- 
nitur et Filius : si de loco exit quem Pater mittit aut Filius, utique de loco transiens 
Spiritus et progediens, et Patrem sicut corpus secundum impias interpretationes re- 
linquere videtur et Filium. Hoc secundum eos loquor qui putant quod habet Spi- 
ritus descensorium rnotum ; venit non de loco in locum, sed de dispositione consti- 
tutiouis in salutem redemptionis. Ambros. de Sp. Sanct. lib. 1. cap. 10. 


in need of a daily farther supply. So is the word used con* 
stantly for the adding of one thing to another, or one degree 
of the same thing unto another ; 2 Pet. i. 5. sm)(opr)yri<TaTe lv 
rri TrtfTTU v/xwv aptTrjv, 'add to your faith, virtue;' or, in your 
faith make an increase of virtue. When, therefore, God is 
thus said to ' minister the Spirit,' it is his continual giving 
out of additional supplies of his grace by his Spirit, which 
is intended. For the Holy Spirit is a voluntary agent, and 
distributes unto every one as he will. When, therefore, he 
is given and sent unto any, his operations are limited by his 
own will, and the will of him that sends him. And therefore 
do we stand in need of supplies of him, and from him, which 
are the principal subject matter of our prayers in this world. 
Fourthly, God is said to put nis Spirit in, or upon men ; 
and this also belongeth unto the manner of his dispensation; 
Isa. xlii. 1. ' Behold my servant whom I uphold, I have put 
my Holy Spirit upon him.' The word there indeed is >nn3, 
' I have given my Holy Spirit upon him/ but because vby 
' upon him' is joined to it, it is by ours rendered by ' put.' As 
also Ezek. xxxvii. 14. where DID 'in you' is added ; ' Put my 
Spirit in you.' The same is plainly intended with that 
Isa. Ixiii. 11. Wlp m~\ DK EHp3 DDil, 'that put his Holy 
Spirit in the midst of them.' Hence |nn3, ' I have given/ or I 
will give; Isa. xlii. 1. is rendered by $?'j<7w; Matt. xii. 18. 
Silvio to TTvtvfia mou £7r' avrbv, ' 1 will put my Spirit upon him.' 
The word |r>3 then used in this sense, doth not denote the 
granting or donation of any thing but its actual bestowing, 
as CDD doth. And it is the effectual acting of God in this 
matter that is intended. He doth not only give and send his 
Spirit unto them to whom he designs so great a benefit and 
, privilege, but he actually collates and bestows him upon 
them c . He doth not send him unto them, and leave it in 
their wills and power, whether they will receive him or no; 
but he so effectually collates and puts him in them or upon 
them, as that they shall be actually made partakers of him. 
He efficaciously endows their hearts and minds with him 
for the work and end which he is designed unto. So 

c Quid igitur Spiritus Sancti operatione divinius, cum etiara benedictionum sua- 
rum praesentem Spiritum Deus ipse testetur, dicens, Ponam Spiritum nieura super 
semen tuum, et benedictiones meas super filios tuos, nulla enim potest esse plena 
benedictio nisi per infusionem Spiritus Sancti. Ambros. de Sp. Sancto. lib. 1. cap. 7. 


Exod. xxxi. 6. ' I have put wisdom/ is as much as I hare 
' filled them with wisdom ;' ver. 2. So then, where God in- 
tendeth unto any the benefit of his Spirit, he will actually 
and effectually collate him upon them. He doth not in- 
deed always do this in the same manner. Sometimes he 
doth it, as it were, by a surprisal, when those who receive him 
are neither aware of it nor do desire it. So the Spirit of the 
Lord as a Spirit of prophecy, came upon Saul, when his 
mind was remote and estranged from any such thoughts. In 
like manner the Spirit of God came upon Eldad and Medad 
in the camp ; when the other elders went forth unto the ta- 
bernacle to receive him ; Numb. xi. 27. And so the Spirit 
of prophecy came upon most of the prophets of old, without 
either expectation or preparation on their parts ; so Amos 
giveth an account of his call unto his office ; chap. vii. 14, 15. 
' I was,' saith he, ' no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son ; 
but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruits : 
and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord 
said unto me, Go prophesy.' He was not brought up with 
any expectation of receiving this gift. He had no prepara- 
tion for it, but God surprised him with his call and gift as 
he followed the flock. Such also was the call of Jeremiah ; 
chap. i. 5 — 7. So vain is the discourse of Maimonides on 
this subject, prescribing various natural and moral prepara- 
tions for the receiving of this gift. But these things were ex- 
traordinary. Yet I noway doubt but that God doth yet con- 
tinue to work grace in many by such unexpected surprisals, 
the manner whereof shall be afterward inquired into. But 
sometimes, as to some gifts and graces, God doth bestow his 
Spirit, where there is some preparation and co-operation on 
our part. But wherever he designs to put or place him, he 
doth it effectually. 

Fifthly, God is said to pour him out; and that frequently. 
Prov. i. 23. >rm EDlb nj/OK Jin * Behold I will pour out my 
Spirit unto you.' j/n3 signifies ' ebullire more scaturiginis,' 
' to bubble up as a fountain d .' Hence the words are rendered 
by Theodotion, avafiXixra) vfiiv irvtvfxa fxov ; ' scaturire facium ;' 
* I will cause my Spirit to spring out unto you as a fountain ;» 

rt Significat autem effusionis verbum largam et divitem muneris abundantiam; ita- 
que cum unus quis alicubi aut duo Spiritum Sanctum accipiant non dicitur effundam 
de Spiritu meo, sed tunc quando in universas gcntes munus Spiritus Sancti redunda- 
verit. Didym. de Sp. Sane. lib. 1. 


and it is frequently applied unto speaking, when it signifies 
' eloqui aut proferre verba more scaturiginis.' See Psal. 
lxxii. 2. cxlv. 7. And nj/2 also, which some take to be the 
root of nyON, Prov. i. 23. hath the same signification. And 
the word hath a double lively metaphor. For the proceed- 
ing of the Spirit from the Father, is compared to the con- 
tinual rising of the waters of a living spring; and his com- 
munication unto us, to the overflowing of those waters, yet 
guided by the will and wisdom of God ; Isa. xxxii. 15. Until 
the Spirit be ' poured upon us from on high,' and the wil- 
derness be a fruitful field. Dnno nn ID'ty my "ty. my is 
indeed sometimes ' to pour out,' but more properly and more 
commonly ' to uncover,' ' to make bare,' ' to reveal.' Until 
the Spirit be 'revealed from on high.' There shall be such 
a plentiful communication of the Spirit, as that he and his 
work shall be made open, revealed, and plain. Or the Spirit 
shall be bared, as God is said to make his arm bare, when 
he will work mightily and effectually ; Isa. lii. 10. Isa. xliv. 
3. * I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing 
upon thine offspring.' p^> the word here is so to pour a thing 
out, as that it cleaveth unto and abideth on that which it is 
poured out upon. As the Spirit of God abides with them 
unto whom he is communicated ; Ezek. xxxix. 29. ' I have 
poured out my Spirit on the house of Israel.' TODitf another 
word ; this is properly to pour out, and that in a plentiful 
manner. The same word that is used in that great promise, 
Joel ii. 28. which is rendered, Acts ii. 17. by ek^ew, ' effundam,' 
' I will pour out my Spirit ;' and the same thing is again ex- 
pressed by the same word, Acts x. 45. ' The gift of the Holy 
Ghost is poured on the Gentiles.' 

Let us then briefly consider the importance of this ex- 
pression. And one or two things may be observed concern- 
ing it in general. As, 1. wherever it is used it hath direct 
respect unto the times of the gospel. Either it is a part of the 
promises concerning it, or of the story of its accomplishment 
under it. But wherever it is mentioned, the time, state, and 
grace, of the gospel are intended in it. For the Lord Christ 
was ' in all things to have the pre-eminence;' Col. i. 18. And 
therefore, although God gave his Spirit in some measure be- 
fore, yet he poured him not out until he was first anointed 
with his fulness. 2. There is a tacit comparison in it with 


some other time and season, or some other act of God wherein 
or whereby God gave his Spirit before, but not in the way 
and manner that he intended now to bestow him. A larger 
measure of the Spirit to be now given than was before, or is* 
signified by any other expressions of the same gift, is in- 
tended in this word. 

Three things are therefore comprised in this expression. 
1. An eminent act of divine bounty. Pouring forth is the 
way whereby bounty from an all-sufficing fulness is ex- 
pressed. As the ' clouds filled with a moist vapour pour down 
rain;' Job xxxvi. 27. until 'it water the ridges of the earth 
abundantly, settling the furrows thereof, and making it soft 
with showers ;' as Psal. lxv. 10. which with the things fol- 
lowing in that place, ver. 11 — 13. are spoken allegorically 
of this pouring out of the Spirit of God from above. Hence 
God is said to do this richly ; Tit. iii. 6. ' The renewing of 
the Holy Ghost, o3 iZfyeiv l<fi rifiag tt\ov<tl(oq, which he 
hath poured on us richly;' that is, on all believers who are 
converted unto God. For the apostle discourseth not of the 
extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were then given 
forth in a plentiful manner, but of that grace of the Holy 
Ghost whereby all that believe are regenerated, renewed, 
and converted, unto God. For so were men converted of old 
by a rich participation of the Holy Ghost, and so they must 
be still, whatever some pretend, or die in their sins. And by 
the same word is the bounty of God in other things ex- 
pressed. ' The living God who giveth us richly all things to 
enjoy ;' 1 Tim. vi. 17. 2. This pouring out hath respect unto 
the gifts and graces of the Spirit, and not unto his person. 
For where he is given he is given absolutely, and as to himself 
not more or less; but his gifts and graces may be more plen- 
tifully and abundantly given at one time than at another, to 
some persons than to others. Wherefore this expression is me- 
tonymical, that being spoken of the cause which is proper to 
the effect; the Spirit being said to be poured forth, because 
his graces are so. 3. Respect is had herein unto some 
especial works of the Spirit. Such are the purifying or sanc- 
tifying, and the comforting or refreshing, them on whom he is 
poured. With respect unto the first of these effects, he is 
compared both unto fire and water. For both fire and water 
have purifying qualities in them, though towards different 


objects, and working in a different manner. So by fire are 
metals purified and purged from their dross and mixtures, 
and by water are all other unclean and defiled things 
cleansed and purified. Hence the Lord Jesus Christ in his 
work by his Spirit is at once compared unto a refiner's fire 
and to fuller's soap ; Mai. iii. 2, 3. because of the purging 
purifying qualities that are in fire and water. And the Holy 
Ghost is expressly called a Spirit of burning ; Isa. iv. 4. 
For by him are the vessels of the house of God, that are of 
gold and silver, refined and purged, as those that are but of 
wood and stone are consumed. And when it is said of our 
Lord Jesus, that he should ' baptize with the Holy Ghost and 
with fire/ Luke iii. 16. it is but IV $ta dvolv the same thing 
doubly expressed, and therefore mention is made only of 
the Holy Ghost, John i. 33. But the Holy Ghost was in 
his dispensation to purify and cleanse them as fire doth 
gold and silver. And on the same account is he compared 
to water ; Ezek. xxxvi. 35. ' I will sprinkle clean water upon 
you, and you shall be clean ;' which is expounded, ver. 26. 
by a ' new spirit will I put within you/ which God calls his 
Spirit ; Jer. xxxii. 39. So our Saviour calls him rivers of 
water; John vii. 38, 39. see Isa. xliv. 3. And it is with re- 
gard unto his purifying, cleansing, and sanctifying our na- 
tures, that he is thus called. With respect therefore, in an 
especial manner, hereunto is he said to be poured out. So 
our apostle expressly declares, Tit. iii. 4 — 6. Again it re- 
spects his comforting and refreshing them on whom he is 
poured. Hence is he said to be poured down from above as 
rain that descends on the earth; Isa. xliv. 3. ' I will pour 
water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry 
ground / that is, ' I will pour my Spirit on thy seed, and my 
blessing upon thy offspring; and they shall spring up as 
among the grass, as willows by the water-courses ;' ver. 4. see 
chap. xxxv. 6, 7. He comes upon the dry, parched, barren 
ground of the hearts of men, with his refreshing fructifying 
virtue and blessing, causing them to spring and bring forth 
fruits in holiness and righteousness to God ; Heb. vi. 7. 
And in respect unto his communication of his Spirit, is the 
Lord Christ said to ' come down like rain upon the mown 
grass, as showers that water the earth;' Psal. lxxii. 6. The good 
Lord give us always of these waters and refreshing showers. 


And these are the ways in general whereby the dispensa- 
tion of the Spirit from God, for what end or purpose soever 
it be, is expressed. 

II. We come nextly to consider what is ascribed unto the 
Spirit himself, in a way of compliance with these acts of God 
whereby he is given and administered. Now these are such 
things or actions as manifest him to be a voluntary agent ; 
and that not only as to what he acts or doth in men, but 
also as to the manner of his coming forth from God, and 
his application of himself unto his work. And these we 
must consider as they are declared unto us in the Scripture. 

The first and most general expression hereof is, that 
he proceedeth from the Father ; and being the Spirit of the 
Son, he proceedeth from him also in like manner ; John xv. 
26. ' The Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father, 
he shall testify of me.' There is a twofold iKiroptvcng or 'pro- 
cession' of the Holy Ghost. The one is (pvami) or {/Troo-rartic?}, 
' natural' or ' personal.' This expresseth his eternal relation 
to the persons of the Father and the Son. He, is of them by 
an eternal emanation or procession e . The manner hereof 
unto us in this life is incomprehensible. Therefore it is re- 
jected by some who will believe no more than they can put 
their hands into the sides of. And yet are they forced in 
things under their eyes, to admit of many things which they 
cannot perfectly comprehend. But we live by faith and not 
by sight f . This is enough unto us that we admit nothing in 
this great mystery but what is revealed, and nothing is re- 
vealed unto us that is inconsistent with the being and sub- 
sistence of God. For this procession or emanation includes 
no separation or division in or of the divine nature, but only 
expresseth a distinction in subsistence by a property peculiar 

c Spiritus Sanctus qui a Patre et Filio procedit, nee ipse coepit ; quia processio 
ejus continua est, et ab eo qui non ccepit. Ambros. in Symbol. Apostol. cap. 3. 

Spiritus quideni Sanctus nee ingenitus est nee genitus alicubi dicitur, ne si inge- 
nitus diceretur sicut Pater, duo Patres in Sancta Trinitate intelligerentur; aut si 
genitus diceretur sicut Filius, duo itidem Filii in eadem estimarentur esse Sancta 
Trinitate : sed tantummodo procedere de Patre et Filio salva fide dicendum est. 
Qui tamen non de Patre procedit in Filiurn, et de Filio procedit ad sanctificandara 
creaturam, sicut quidarn male intelligentes credendum esse putabant, sed simul de 
utroque procedit. Quia Pater talem genuit Filiuru, ut quemadmodum de se, ita et 
de illo quoque procedat Spiritus Sanctus. August. Sermo 38. de Tempore. 

f Ou yap lireiiav •na.fj.llaii aKaTaXnffTOV to ©efov S<a toSto tuou Travrtug junSoXajj £ht£(V 
TTlfl etirtov 'BrgoiTTix.ev , aXX tv %a<nd>lri tov toD j3iou xaTavaXiVnEiv j^povov. Kara Se to [Aireav 
to {AEt>&£y ixdo-T3i irapa. tou Kugiov, tH; yvM<rE<w? TJiv t^iratriv <t>(Xo9ro'v<wj mttitrSai. "On fxh 
aHaTaXnirTov axgi&sf itiirniT(j.i\iovg. 'E<f>' oVov Se y^oifoZ fxiy Sia in; Seoujiaf , etturovt IxEiVai 
<n,-va7TTovT«f.^ Justin. Martyr. Expositio Fidei de recta Confess. 


to the Holy Spirit : but this is not that which at present 1 
intend. The consideration of it belongeth unto the doctrine 
of the Trinity in general, and hath been handled elsewhere. 
Secondly, There is an wTropivvig or 'procession' of the Spirit, 
which is oIkovo/mkij or 'dispensatory.' This is the egress of the 
Spirit in his application of himself unto his work. A volun- 
tary act it is of his will, and not a necessary property of his 
person. And he is said thus to proceed from the Father, 
because he goeth forth or proceedeth in the pursuit of the 
counsels and purposes of the Father, and as sent by him to 
put them into execution or to make them effectual. And in 
like manner he proceedeth from the Son, sent by him for the 
application of his grace unto the souls of his elect ; John 
xv. 16. It is true, this proves his eternal relation to the 
Father and the Son, as he proceeds from them, or receives 
his peculiar personal subsistence from them ; for that is the 
ground of this order of operation. But it is his own per- 
sonal voluntary acting that is intended in the expression. 
And this is the^general notation of the original of the Spirit's 
acting in all that he doth. He proceedeth or cometh forth 
from the Father. Had it been only said that he was given 
and sent, it could not have been known that there was any 
thing of his own will in what he did, whereas he is said to 
' divide unto every one as he will.' But in that hiropeveTai, 
he ' proceedeth' of his own accord unto his work, his own 
will and condescension is also asserted. And this his pro- 
ceeding from the Father, is in compliance with his sending 
of him to accomplish and make effectual the purposes of his 
will and the counsels of his grace. 

Secondly, To the same purpose he is said to come; 
John xv. 26. ' When the Comforter is come ;' John xvi. 7. ' If 
I go not away the Comforter will not come ;' ver. 8. and ' when 
he is come.' So is he said to come upon persons. We so 
express it ; 1 Chron. xii. 18. ' The Spirit came upon Amasai,' 
>wny DK rw^b nm. And ' the Spirit clothed Amasai ;' pos- 
sessed his mind as a man's clothes cleave unto him; Acts 
xix. 6. 'The Holy Ghost came on them and they prophesied;' 
e ASe. "Epxo/ucu ' to come' is, as it were, the terminus ad quern of 
kiaropevofiai, ' going forth or proceeding.' For there is in these 
expressions an allusion unto a local motion, whereof these 
two words denote the beginning and the end. The first in- 


tendeth his voluntary application of himself to his work, the 
other his progress in it ; such condescensions doth God make 
use of in the declaration of his divine actings to accommo- 
date them unto our understandings, and to give us some 
kind of apprehension of them. He proceedeth from the 
Father as given by him, and cometh unto us as sent by him. 
The meaning of both is, that the Holy Ghost by his own 
will and consent worketh in the pursuit of the will of the 
Father, there and that, where and what he did not work 
before 5 . And as there is no local motion to be thought of 
in these things, so they can in no tolerable sense be recon- 
ciled to the imagination of his being only the inherent virtue 
or an actual emanation and influence of the power of God. 
And hereby is our faith and obedience regulated in our 
dealing with God about him. For we may both pray the 
Father that he would give and send him unto us according 
to his promise, and we may pray to him to come unto us to 
sanctify and comfort us according to the work and office 
that he hath undertaken. This is that which we are taught 
hereby. For these revelations of God are for our instruction 
in the obedience of faith. 

Thirdly, He is said to fall on men ; Acts x. 44. ' While 
Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them 
which heard the word.' So chap. xi. 4. Where Peter, re- 
peating the same matter, says, ' The Holy Ghost fell on 
them as on us at the beginning :' that is, Acts ii. 4. A great- 
ness and suddenness in a surprisal is intended in this word. 
As when the fire fell down from heaven (which was a type 
of him) upon the altar and sacrifice of Elijah, the people that 
saw it were amazed, and falling on their faces cried out, 
' The Lord he is God ;' 1 Kings xviii. 38, 39. When men are 
no way irf expectation of such a gift, or when they have an 
expectation in general, but are suddenly surprised as to the 
particular season it is thus declared. But wherever this word 
is used, some extraordinary effects evidencing his presence 
and power do immediately ensue ; Acts x. 44. 46. And so 
it was at the beginning of his effusion under the New Testa- 
ment ; Acts ii. 4. viii. 16. 

Fourthly, Being come, he is said to rest on the persons 

e Nullus sine Deo, Deque ullus non in Deo locus est. In caelis est, in inferno 
est, ultra maria est. Inest interior, excedit exterior. Itaque curu habet atque ha- 
betur, neque in aliquo ipse, neque non in omnibus est. Hilar, lib. 1. de Trinitat. 


to whom he is given and sent; Isa. xi. 3. ' And the Spirit 
of the Lord shall rest upon him.' This is interpreted abiding 
and remaining ; John i. 32, 33. Numb. xi. 25, 26. ' The Spirit 
of the Lord rested on the elders.' So the spirit of ' Elijah 
rested on Elisha ;' 2 Kings ii. 15. 1 Pet. iv. 14. The * Spirit 
of God and of glory resteth on you.' Two things are in- 
cluded herein; X. Complacency. 2. Permanency. First, 
He is well-pleased in his work wherein he rests. So where 
God is said to rest in his love, he doth it with joy and sing- 
ing; Zeph, iii. 17. so doth the Spirit rejoice where he rests. 
Secondly, He abides where he rests. Under this notion is 
this acting of the Spirit promised by our Saviour. ' He shall 
abide with you for ever;' John xiv. 16. He came only on 
some men by a sudden surprisal, to act in them and by them 
some peculiar work and duty. To this end he only transiently 
affected their minds with his power. But where he is said 
to rest, as in the works of sanctification and consolation, 
there he abides and continues with complacency and delight. 
Fifthly, He is said to depart from some persons. So it 
is said of Saul, 1 Sam. xvi. 14. ' The Spirit of the Lord de- 
parted from him.' And David prays that God would not 
• take his Holy Spirit from him ;' Psal. Ii. 11. And this is to 
be understood answerably unto what we have discoursed 
before about his coming and his being sent. As he is said 
to come, so is he said to depart ; and as he is said to be sent, 
so is he said to be taken away. His departure from men, 
therefore, is his ceasing to work in them and on them as 
formerly; and as far as this is penal, he is said to be taken 
away. So he departed, and was taken away from Saul, when 
he no more helped him with that ability for kingly govern- 
ment, which before he had by his assistance. And this de- 
parture of the Holy Ghost from any, is either total or partial 
only. Some on whom he hath been bestowed for the work- 
ing of sundry gifts for the good of others, with manifold con- 
victions by light and general assistance, unto the perform- 
ance of duties, he utterly deserts and gives them up unto 
themselves and their own heart's lusts. Examples hereof 
are common in the world. Men who have been made par- 
takers of many ' gifts of the Holy Ghost,' and been in an es- 
pecial manner enlightened, and under the power of their 
convictions carried out unto the profession of the gospel, 


and the performance of many duties of religion; yet being 
entangled by temptations, and overcome by the power of 
their lusts, relinquish all their beginnings and engagements, 
and turn wholly unto sin and folly. From such persons the 
Holy Ghost utterly departs, all their gifts dry up and wither ; 
their light goeth out, and they have darkness instead of a 
vision. The case of such is deplorable ; ' for it had been 
better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, 
than after they have known it to turn from the holy com- 
mandment delivered unto them;' 2 Pet. ii. 21. And some 
of these add despite and contempt'of that whole work of 
the Spirit of God, whereof themselves were made partakers, 
unto their apostacy. And the condition of such profligate 
sinners is for the most part irrecoverable ; Heb. vi. 4 — 6. 
x. 26 — 30. From some he withdraweth and departeth par- 
tially only, and that mostly but for a season. And this de- 
parture respects the grace, light, and consolation, which he 
administers unto believers, as to the degrees of them, and 
the sense of them in their own souls. On whom he is be- 
stowed to work these things in a saving way, from them he 
never utterly or totally departs. This our blessed Saviour 
plainly promiseth and asserteth ; John iv. 14. ' Whosoever 
drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; 
but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of 
water springing up into everlasting life.' That this well of 
living water is his sanctifying Spirit himself declares; John 
vii. 37, 38. He who hath received him, shall never have a 
thirst of total want and indigence any more. Besides, he 
is given unto this end by virtue of the covenant of grace. 
And the promise is express therein, that he shall ' never de- 
part from them' to whom he is given; Isa. lix. 21. Jer. 
xxxi. 33. xxxii. 39, 40. Ezek. xi. 19, 20. But now as to the 
degrees and sensible effects of these operations, he may de- 
part and withdraw from believers for a season. Hence they 
may be left unto many spiritual decays and much weakness, 
the things of grace that remain in them being as it were 
'ready to die;' Rev. iii. 2. and they may apprehend them- 
selves deserted and forsaken of God. So did Sion ; Isa. xl. 27. 
xlix. 15. For therein doth God 'hide himself,' Isa. xliv. 15. 
or forsake his ' people for a moment ;' chap. liv. 7. He ' hides 
himself and his wrath ;' chap. lvii. 17. These are the things 
vol. n. k 


which David so often and so bitterly complaineth of, and 
which, with so much earnestness he contendeth and wrestleth 
with God to be delivered from. These are those spiritual 
desertions, which some of late have laden with reproach, 
contempt, and scorn. All the apprehensions and complaints 
of the people of God about them, they would represent as 
nothing but the idle imaginations of distempered brains, or 
the effects of some disorder in their blood and animal spirits. 
I could indeed easily allow, that men should despise and 
laugh at what is declared as the experience of professors at 
present. Their prejudice against their persons will not allow 
them to entertain any thoughts of them but what are suited 
unto folly and hypocrisy. But at this I acknowledge I stand 
amazed ; that whereas these things are so plainly, so fully, 
and frequently declared in the Scriptures, both as to the 
actings of God and his Holy Spirit in them, and as to the 
sense of those concerned about them ; whereas the whole of 
God's dealings, and believers' application of themselves to 
him in this matter, are so graphically exemplified in sundry 
of the holy saints of old, as Job, David, Heman, and others ; 
and great and plentiful provision is made in the Scripture 
for the direction, recovery, healing, and consolation of souls 
in such a condition ; yet men, professing themselves to be 
Christians, and to believe the word of God at least not to be 
a fable, should dare to cast such opprobrious reproaches on 
the ways and works of God. The end of these attempts can 
be no other but to decry all real intercourse between God 
and the souls of men, leaving only an outside form or shape 
of religion, not one jot better than atheism. 

Neither is it only what concerns spiritual desertions, 
whose nature, causes, and remedies, are professedly, and at 
large, handled by all the casuistical divines, even of the Ro- 
man church, but the whole work of the Spirit of God upon 
the hearts of men, with all the effects produced in them with 
Tespect unto sin and grace, that some men by their odious 
and scurrilous expressions endeavour to expose to contempt 
and scorn; S. P. pp.339 — 342. Whatever trouble befals the 
minds of men upon the account of a sense of the guilt of 
sin, whatever darkness and disconsolation they may undergo 
through the displeasure of God, and his withdrawing of the 
wonted influences of his grace, love, and favour towards 


them, whatever peace, comfort, or joy, they may be made 
partakers of, by a sense of the love of God shed abroad in 
their hearts by the Holy Ghost, it is all ascribed in most 
opprobrious language unto melancholy reeks and vapours, 
whereof a certain and mechanical account may be given by 
them who understand the anatomy of the brain. To such a 
height of profane atheism is the daring pride and ignorance 
of some in our days arrived. 

There remaineth yet one general adjunct of the dispensa- 
tion and work of the Holy Ghost, which gives a farther de- 
scription of the manner of it ; which I have left unto a single 
consideration. This is that which is mentioned, Heb. ii. 4. 

* God witnessing unto them with signs and wonders, with di- 
vers miracles, koi irvevfiaTog tiyiov fxepicT/jioXg, and gifts,' say we, 

* of the Holy Ghost.' But fiepiafioL, are ' distributions' or ' par- 
titions.' And hence advantage is taken by some to argue 
against his very being. So Crellius contends, that the Holy 
Ghost here is taken passively, or that the expression Trvev- 
fiaroQ ayiov is genitivus materia. Wherefore he supposes 
that it followeth that the Holy Ghost himself may be divided 
into parts, so that one may have one part and parcel of him, 
and another may have another part. How inconsistent this 
is with the truth of his being and personality is apparent. 
But yet, neither can he give any tolerable account of the di- 
vision and partition of that power of God, which he calls the 
Holy Ghost, unless he will make the Holy Spirit to be a 
quality in us and not in the divine nature, as Justin Martyr 
affirms Plato to have done, and so to be divided 8 . And the 
interpretation he useth of the words is wrested, perverse, and 
foolish. For the contexture of them requires that the Holy 
Ghost be here taken actively, as the author of the distribu- 
tion mentioned. He gives out of his gifts and powers unto 

S TavTa, oiy.a.1, ca.<pKt;, "na.(a. rxv •Bjefi tou ayiov 'BrvtifAarot; jUEjUaSuxSj TVKa.rtev t Ei; to 
twc kottnq oi/0[xcl fjt,eTa.<pigan ^aivErai. 'O[j.oioo; ya.i> anTtsi^ oi lEj-ot tsrsixfiri-rai to IV xal to 
avro TmZp.it EifEWTa imiifj.a-ra y.Z£i?eir§a,i <f>acriV, ovrai jtai ciiito; fj,la\ xal t>iv avrhv I'/OfjLa.- 
{ojv agETiiv, TauTuv Eif TE<r<raja; opETaj /txEpi'£E<r&a< Itiym. Justin. Martyr, ad GrffiC. 

Aliter statuit Cyprianus seu quisquis fuit author lib. de Spirit. Sanct. inter opera 
Cypriani. Hie est Spiritus Sanctus quem Magi in ^Egypto tertii signi ostensione 
convicti, cum sua defecisse praestigia faterentur, Dei digitum appellabant, et anti- 
quis philosophis ejus intiraarunt presentiam defuisse. Et licet de Patre et Filio 
aliqua sensissent Platonici, Spiritus taraen tumidus et humani appetitor favoris 
sanctificationem mentis divinae niereri non potuit, et ubi ad profuiiditatein sacra- 
mentorurn deventum est, omnis eoium caligarit subtilitas, nee potuit infidelitas 
sanctitudini propinquare. Cvp- de Spirit. Sanct, 



men in many parts, not all to one, not all at once ; not all in 
one way, but some to one, some to another, some at one time, 
some at another, and that in great, variety. The apostle 
therefore in this place declares, that the Holy Spirit gave 
out various gifts unto the first preachers of the gospel, for 
the confirmation of their doctrine, according to the promise 
of our Saviour ; John xv. 26, 27. Ofthese he mentions in 
particular, first, 2/jjusia, ' signs.' That is, miraculous works 
wrought to signify the presence of God by his power, with 
them that wrought them; so giving out his approbation of the 
doctrine which they taught. Secondly, Ttpara, ' prodigies' 
or ' wonders,' works beyond the power of nature or energy 
of natural causes, wrought to fill men with wonder and ad- 
miration ; manifesting to Saov, and surprising men with a 
sense of the presence of God. Thirdly,. Avva/xeii', ' mighty 
works' of several sorts, such as opening of the eyes of the 
blind, raising the dead and the like. These being mentioned, 
there is added in general iitpiajuol Trvtv/iarog uylov, that is, 
ttfnpn rmn nunD ' gifts of the Holy Ghost.' For these and 
other like things did the Holy Ghost work and effect to the 
end mentioned. And these distributions are from him as 
the signs and wonders were, that is, effects of his power ; only 
there is added an intimation how they are all wrought by 
him, which is by giving them a power for their operation, 
variously dividing them amongst those on whom they were 
bestowed; and that, as it is added, Kara n)v civtov diXqtni; 
' according unto his own will.' And this place is so directly 
and fully expounded, 1 Cor. xii. 7 — 11. that there is no room 
of exception left unto the most obstinate. And that place 
having been opened before in the entrance of this discourse, 
I shall not here call it over again. These juept<r/xoi therefore 
are his gifts, which as parts and parcels of his work he 
giveth out in great variety' 1 . To the same purpose are his 
operations described, Isa. xi. 2, 3. ' The Spirit of the Lord 
shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, 
the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of knowledge 
and of the fear of the Lord.' He is first called the Spirit of 
the Lord to express his being and nature ; and then he is 
termed the Spirit of wisdom and of counsel, &c. that is, he 

h Ti'v Toy ayiov 'sniifJ.ctTot; a^toufxivccv £<tti $ict<poga, ttXeiov n eXottov Xau/3avovra>v -row 
kyiw tzMv/xaToi rav 'nunrivovrmv. Origen. Comment, in Matthseum. 


who is the author of wisdom and counsel, and the rest of the 
graces mentioned, who divides and distributes them accord- 
ing to his own will. That variety of gifts and graces where- 
with believers are endowed and adorned are these, fiepiafMoi 
or '. distributions' of the Holy Spirit. Hence the principal re- 
spect that we have unto him immediately in our worship of 
him under the New Testament, is, as he is the author of these 
various gifts and graces. So John, saluting the churches of 
Asia, prayeth for grace for them, ' from God the Father, and 
the seven spirits that are before his throne;' Rev. i. 4. That 
is, the Holy Spirit of God considered in his care of the 
church, and his yielding supplies unto it, as the author of 
that perfection of gifts and graces which are, and are to be, 
bestowed upon it. So doth the number of seven denote. 
And therefore, whereas our Lord Jesus Christ as the founda- 
tion of his church, was anointed with all the gifts and graces 
of the Spirit in their perfection, it is said, that upon that one 
stone should be ' seven eyes;' Zech. iii. 9. all the gifts of the 
seven spirits of God, or of that Holy Spirit which is the 
author of them all. 

All, therefore, that is pleaded for the division of the Holy 
Ghost from this place, is built on the supposition that we 
have before rejected ; — namely, that he is not a divine per- 
son, but an arbitrary emanation of divine power; and yet 
neither so can the division of the Holy Ghost pleaded for, 
be with any tolerable sense maintained. Crellius savs, in- 
deed, that all divine inspirations may be considered as one 
whole, as many waters make up one sea. In this respect the 
Holy Ghost is one, that is, one universal made up of many 
species, this is totum logician. And so he may be divided 
into his subordinate species. But what ground or colour is 
there for any such notions in the Scripture ? Where is it 
said that all the gifts of the Holy Ghost do constitute or 
make up one Holy Ghost? Or the Holy Ghost is one in ge- 
neral, because many effects are ascribed unto him? Or that 
the several gifts of the Spirit are so many distinct kinds of 
it ? The contrary unto all these is expressly taught ; namely, 
that the one Holy Spirit worketh all these things as he 
pleaseth, so that they are all of them external acts of his will 
and power. And it is to as little purpose pleaded by the 
same author, that he is divided as a natural whole into its 



parts, because there is mention of a measure and portion of 
him. So God is said not to give him to Jesus Christ by mea- 
sure; John iii. 34. And to every one of us is given grace 
' according to the measure of the gift of Christ;' as though 
one measure of him were granted unto one, and another 
measure to another. But this measure is plainly of his gifts 
and graces. These were bestowed on the Lord Christ in all 
their fulness, without any limitation either as to kinds or de- 
grees. They were poured into him according unto the ut- 
most extent and capacity of human nature, and that under 
an inconceivable advancement by its union unto the Son of 
God. Others receive his gifts and graces in a limited pro- 
portion, both as to their kinds and degrees. To turn this into 
a division of the Spirit himself is the greatest madness. And 
casting aside prejudices, there is no difficulty in the under- 
standing of that saying of God to Moses, Numb. xi. 17. ' I 
will take of the Spirit that is on thee, and put it on the elders.' 
For it is evidently of the gifts of the Spirit, enabling men 
for rule and government, that God speaketh, and not of the 
Spirit himself. Without any diminution of that spirit in 
him, that is, of the gifts that he had received, God gave unto 
them, as lighting their candle by his. And so also, the 
double portion of the spirit of Elijah, which Elisha requested 
for himself, was only a large and peculiar measure of pro- 
phetical light, above what other prophets which he left be- 
hind him had received ; 2 Kings ii. 9. He asked ZZWiZ/ >D *os 
duorum' or ' duplex;' to BittXovv fxspog, or to. diirXa. This 
expression is first used, Deut. xxi. 17. where the double por- 
tion of the first-born is intended. So that probably it was 
such a portion among the other prophets, as the first-born 
had among the brethren of the same family, which he de-< 
sired ; and so it came to pass, whence also he had the rule 
and government of them. 







The work of the Spirit of God in the new creation ; by some despised. 
Works under the Old Testament preparatory to the new creation. Dis- 
tribution of the works of the Spirit. The gift of prophecy ; the nature, 
use, and end of it. The beginning of prophecy. TJie Holy Spirit the 
only author of it. The name of a prophet ; its signification, and his 
work. Prophecy by inspiration ; whence so called. Prophets how acted 
by the Holy Ghost. The adjuncts of prophecy, or distinct ways of its 
communication. Of articulate voices. Dreams. Visions, Adjuncts of 
prophecy. Symbolical actions. Local mutations. Whether unsanctijied 
persons might have the gift of prophecy. The case of Balaam. An- 
swered. Of writing the Scriptures. Three things required thereunto. 
Of miracles. Works of the Spirit of God in the improvement of the na- 
tural faculties of the minds of men in things political. In things moral. 
In things corporeal. In things intellectual and artificial. In preaching 
of the word. 

-Having passed through these general things, which are 
of a necessary previous consideration unto the especial 
works of the Holy Ghost, I now proceed unto that which is 
the principal subject of our present design. And this is the 
dispensation and work of the Holy Spirit of God, with re- 
spect unto the new creation, and the recovery of mankind or 
the church of God thereby. A matter this is of the highest 
importance unto them that sincerely believe, but most vio- 
lently, and of late virulently, opposed by all the enemies of 
the grace of God and our Lord Jesus Christ. The weight 


and concernment of the doctrine hereof, have in part been 
spoken unto before. I shall at present add no farther con- 
siderations to the same purpose, but leave all that fear the 
name of God, to make a judgment of it by what is revealed 
concerning it in the Scriptures, and the uses whereunto it is 
in them directed. Many we know will not receive these 
things, but whilst we keep ourselves in the handling of them 
unto that word, whereby one day both we and they must ei- 
ther stand or fall ; we need not be moved at their ignorance 
or pride, nor at the fruits and effects of them in reproaches, 
contempt, and scorn. For ey^ei Qebg tvditcov ojuua. 

Now the works 1 of the Spirit, in reference unto the new 
creation, are of two sorts. First, Such as were preparatory 
unto it under the Old Testament. For I reckon, that the 
state of the old creation, as unto our living unto God, ended 
with the entrance of sin, and giving the first promise. 
Whatever ensued thereon, in a way of grace, was prepara- 
tory for, and unto, the New. Secondly, Such as were actually 
wrought about it under the New. Those acts and workings 
of his, which are common to both states of the church, as is his 
effectual dispensation of sanctifying grace towards the elect 
of God, I shall handle in common under the second head. 
Under the first, I shall only reckon up those that were pe- 
culiar unto that state. To make way hereunto, I shall pre- 
mise two general positions. 

1. There is nothing excellent amongst men, whether it be 
absolutely extraordinary, and every way above the production 
of natural principles ; or whether it consist in an eminent 
and peculiar improvement of those principles and abilities, 
but it is ascribed unto the Holy Spirit of God, as the imme- 
diate operator and efficient cause of it. This we shall after- 
ward confirm by instances. Of old he was all ; now, some 
would have him nothing. 

2. Whatever the Holy Spirit wrought in an eminent 
manner under the Old Testament, it had generally, and for 
the most part, if not absolutely and always, a respect unto 
our Lord Jesus Christ and the gospel, and so was preparatory 
unto the completing of the great work of the new creation, 
in and by him. 

And these works of the Holy Spirit may be referred unto 
the two sorts mentioned; namely, 1. Such as were extraor- 


dinary, and exceeding the whole compass of the abilities of 
nature, however improved and advanced; and, 2. Those 
which consist in the improving and exaltation of those 
abilities, to answer the occasions of life, and use of the 
church. Those of the first sort, maybe reduced unto three 
heads. (1.) Prophecy. (2.) Inditing of the Scripture. (3.) 
Miracles. Those of the other sort we shall find; (1.) In 
things political, as skill for government, and rule amongst 
men. (2.) In things moral, as fortitude and courage. (3.) In 
things natural, as increase of bodily strength. (4.) In gifts 
intellectual; [1.] For things sacred, as to preach the word 
of God, [2.] In things artificial, as in Bezaliel and Aholiab. 
The work of grace on the hearts of men being more fully 
revealed under the New Testament than before, and of the 
same kind and nature in every state of the church since the 
fall, I shall treat of it once for all in its most proper place. 

The first eminent gift and work of the Holy Ghost, under 
the Old Testament, and which had the most direct and im- 
mediate respect unto Jesus Christ, was that of prophecy. For 
the chief and principal end hereof in the church was to fore- 
signify him, his sufferings, and the glory that should ensue; 
or to appoint such things to be observed in divine worship, 
as might be types and representations of him. For the 
chiefest privilege of the church of old, was but to hear tid- 
ings of the things which we enjoy; Isa. xxxiii. 17. As 
Moses on the top of Pisgah saw the land of Canaan; and 
in spirit, the beauties of holiness to be erected therein, 
which was his highest attainment ; so the best of these 
saints, was to contemplate the King of saints in the land 
that was yet very far from them, or Christ in the flesh.. And 
this prospect, which by faith they obtained, was their 
chiefest joy and glory ; John viii. 56. yet they all ended 
their days as Moses did, with respect unto the type of the 
gospel-state; Deut. iii. 24,25. So did they, Luke x. 23,24. 
' God having provided some better thing for us, that they 
without us should not be made perfect;' Heb. xi. 40. That 
this was the principal end of the gift of prophecy, Peter de- 
clares ; 1 Epist. i. 9 — 12 : ' Receiving the end of your faith, 
the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets 
have inquired, and searched diligently, who prophesied of 
the grace that should come unto you : searching what, or 


what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them 
did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of 
Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it 
was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they 
did minister the things, which are now reported unto you.' 
Some of the ancients apprehended, that some things were 
spoken obscurely by the prophets, and not to be understood 
without great search, especially such as concerned the re- 
jection of the Jews, lest they should have been provoked to 
abolish the Scripture itself. But the sum and substance 
of the prophetical work under the Old Testament, with 
the light, design, and ministry of the prophets themselves, 
are declared in those words. The work was to give testi- 
mony unto the truth of God in the first promise : concern- 
ing the coming of the blessing seed. This was God's me- 
thod. First, He gave himself immediately that promise 
which was the foundation of the church ; Gen. iii. 15. Then 
by revelation unto the prophets, he confirmed that promise, 
after all which the Lord Christ was sent to make them all 
good unto the church ; Rom. xv. 8. Herevvithal they re- 
ceived fresh revelations concerning his person and his suf- 
ferings, with the glory that was to ensue thereon, and the 
grace which was to come thereby unto the church. Whilst 
they were thus employed, and acted by the Holy Ghost or 
the Spirit of Christ, they diligently endeavoured to come to 
an acquaintance with the things themselves, in their nature 
and efficacy, which were revealed unto them b ; yet, so as 
considering, that not themselves, but some succeeding ge- 
nerations should enjoy them in their actual exhibition. 
And whilst they were intent on these things, they searched 
also, as far as intimation was given thereof by the Spirit, 
after the time wherein all these things should be accom- 
plished; both when it should be, and what manner of time 
it should be, or, what would be the state and condition of 

* Infxiiaxrn I' Sj'tivh fxh sijuTai Si amyy-aruiv, -riva Se Qttvepdrrepov. Ta fxh oSv 11 i«nt(- 
pv^E^c riyovfxat tSiv Ik TTEgi-ro.ufij evexa KenaWvfA.fj.iyw; awoSsJoV&ai, Sia to. $e<nri(oy.iv* 
Ka.-r avrHv a-KuQ^anra. Ai aWEf BiJWj ?v Kai a$aviVai avTovt; tw y^a<phv, tl Ik toZ wpo<pa- 
voDf rhv itr-^ktw avritv awo^oXw ES-fyeaivEV. Eiiseb. Demost. Evangel, lib. 6. Proem. 

b Omnes prophetae ilia tantunimodo sciebant qua illis fuissent a Domino reve- 
lata. Unde et rex Hieremiam dubio inlerrogat, si in ea hora qua cum illo loque- 
batur apud eum sermo Domini haberetur. Sed et Eliseus dicit, quomodo ha?c Do- 
minus abscondit a me, et Elias preter se esse alios qui Deum colerent ignoravit. 
Hicron. Comment, in Epist. ad Roman, cap. 2. 


the people of God in those days. This was the principal 
end of the gift of prophecy, and this the principal work and 
employment of the prophets. The first promise was given 
by God, in the person of the Son, as I have proved else- 
where ; Gen. iii. 15. But the whole explication, confirma- 
tion, and declaration of it, was carried on by the gift of 

The communication of this gift, began betimes in the 
world, and continued without any known interruption in 
the possession of some one or more in the church at all 
times, during its preparatory or subservient estate. After 
the finishing of the canon of the Old Testament, it ceased in 
the Judaical church, until it had a revival in John the Bap- 
tist, who was therefore greater than any prophet that went 
before, because he made the nearest approach unto, and the 
clearest discovery of, the Lord Jesus Christ, the end of all pro- 
phecies. Thus God spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, 
twv air atwvoc, Luke i. 70. that were ' from the beginning of 
the world.' Adam himself had many things revealed unto 
him; without which, he could not have worshipped God 
aright in that state and condition whereunto he was come. 
For although his natural light was sufficient to direct him 
unto all religious services required by the law of creation ; 
yet was it not so unto all duties of that state, whereinto he 
was brought by the giving of the promise after the entrance 
of sin. So was he guided unto the observance of such or- 
dinances of worship as were needful for him, and accepted 
with God, as were sacrifices. The prophecy of Enoch is 
not only remembered, but called over and recorded ; Jude 
14, 15. And it is a matter neither curious nor difficult to de- 
monstrate, that all the patriarchs of old, before the flood, 
were guided by a prophetical spirit in the imposition of 
names on those children who were to succeed them in the 
sacred line. Concerning Abraham, God expressly saith 
himself, that he was a prophet ; Gen. xx. 7. that is, one who 
used to receive divine revelations. 

Now this gift of prophecy was always the immediate 
effect of the operation of the Holy Spirit. So it is both 
affirmed in general, and in all the particular instances of 
it. In the first way, we have the illustrious testimony of 
the apostle Peter; 2 Epist. i. 20, 21. ' Knowing this 


first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private inter- 
pretation, for the prophecy came not in old time by the 
will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved 
by the Holy Ghost.' This is a principle among believers ; 
this they grant and allow in the first place, as that which 
they resolve their faith into ; namely, that the sure word of 
prophecy, which they in all things take heed unto, ver. 19. 
was not a fruit of any men's private conceptions ; nor was 
subject to the wills of men, so as to attain it, or exercise it by 
their own ability . But it was given by ' inspiration from 
God ;' 2 Tim. iii. 16. for the Holy Ghost, by acting, moving, 
guiding, the minds of holy men, enabled them thereunto. 
This was the sole fountain and cause of all true divine pro- 
phecy that ever was given or granted to the use of the 
church. And in particular, the coming of the Spirit of God 
upon the prophets enabling them unto their work is fre- 
quently mentioned. Micah declares in his own instance 
how it was with them all ; chap. iii. 8. ' But truly I am full 
of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of 
might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel 
his sin.' It was from the Spirit of God alone, that he had 
all his ability for the discharge of that prophetical office 
whereunto he was called. And when God would endow 
seventy elders with a gift of prophecy, he tells Moses, that 
he would ' take of the Spirit that was upon him,' and give 
unto them for that purpose ; that is, he would communicate 
of the same Spirit unto them as was in him. And where it 
is said at any time, that God spake by the prophets, or that 
the word of God came to them, or God spake to them, it is 
always intended that this was the immediate work of the Holy 
Ghost. So says David of himself; ' The Spirit of the Lord 
spake by me,' or in me, ' and his word was in my tongue ;' 
2 Sam. xxiii. 2. Hence our apostle, repeating his words, as- 
cribes them directly to the Holy Ghost; Heb. iii. 7. ' Where- 
fore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if you will hear his 

c Ol' Ji toZ ©sou av&ps>7roi vnv/xaro^o^ot t&vtv pares kylov, xal •Grpfyvrai yiviptvoi Ivr* 
avTOv tou ©sou 1|U7TVEi/<3-Sevtej xct.1 fl-&<f>i0-$EVTEf ej<£Vovto S'EoSi&aJtTOI, KOI JVioi x.a\ Sixatoi. 
Theophil. ad Autolycuin. lib. 2. 

Prophets voces itemque virtutes ad fideni divinitatis edebant. Tertul. Apol. 
cap. 18. 

OiiS' avJgoy touto woieiv, n ffo<pov tivo; xaI Ssi'ou ; >i Seo; <xv s^ot q>a'.n tI? av -roino to ye- 
gaj. Kai yaj ol tcD /uavri'oe;, to Sioti aXXa to oti finn ttifiiv. Plotin. Enncnd. 3. lib. 3. 


voice;' and, chap. iv. 7. ' Saying in David.' So the words 
which are ascribed unto the Lord of hosts, Isa. vi. 9. are as- 
serted to be the words of the Holy Ghost, Acts xxviii. 25. 
He spake to them, or in them, by his holy inspirations ; and 
he spake by them in his effectual infallible guidance of them, 
to utter, declare, and write what they received from him, 
without mistake or variation. 

And this prophecy as to its exercise is considered two 
ways. First, Precisely for the prediction or foretelling things 
to come, as the Greek word and the Latin traduced from 
thence do signify. So prophecy is a divine prediction of 
future things proceeding from divine revelation. But the 
Hebrew N33 whence are K03 ' a prophet,' and nNHJ ' pro- 
phecy,' is not confined unto any such signification, although 
predictions from supernatural revelation are constantly ex- 
pressed by it. But in general the word signifies no more, 
but to speak out, interpret, and declare the minds or words of 
another. So God tells Moses, that he would ' make him a 
God unto Pharaoh ;' one that should deal with him in the 
name, stead, and power of God ; and ' Aaron his brother 
should be his prophet;' Exod.vii. 1. that is, one that should 
interpret his meaning and declare his words unto Pharaoh, 
Moses having complained of the defect of his own utter- 
ance. So prophets are the interpreters, the declarers of the 
word, will, mind, or oracles, of God unto others. Such a 
one is described, Job xxxiii. 23. Hence those who ex- 
pounded the Scripture unto the church under the New Tes- 
tament were called prophets, and their work prophecy; Rom. 
xii. 6. 1 Cor. xiv. 31, 32. And under the Old Testament 
those that celebrated the praises of God with singing in the 
temple, according to the institution of David, are said therein 
to prophesy ; 1 Chron. xxv. 2. And this name X ; 23 a ' pro- 
phet' was of ancient use : for so God termed Abraham ; 
Gen. xx. 7. Afterward, in common use, a prophet was 
called iiNl and run ' a seer,' because of their divine visions ; 
and this was occasioned from those words of God concern- 
ing Moses, Num. xi. 6. And this being the ordinary way 
of his revealing himself, namely, by dreams and visions, 
prophets in those days, even from the death of Moses, were 
commonly called seers; which continued in use until the 
days of Samuel ; 1 Sam. ix. 9. And CDM^NH itf'N ' a man of 


God;' 1 Sam. ii. 27. which name Paul gives to the preachers 
of the gospel; 1 Tim. vi. 11. 2 Tim. iii. 17. And it is not 
altogether unworthy observation what Kimchi notes, that 
the verb tfnj is most frequently used in the passive conjuga- 
tion niphal, because it denotes a receiving of that from God 
by way of revelation, which is spoken unto others in a way 
of prophecy. And as it lies before us as an extraordinary 
gift of the Holy Ghost, it is neither to be confined to the 
strict notion of prediction and foretelling, nor to be ex- 
tended to every true declaration of the mind of God, but 
only that which is obtained by immediate revelation. 

This peculiar gift, therefore, of the Holy Spirit we may a 
little distinctly inquire into. And two things concerning it 
may be considered. 1. Its general nature ; 2. The particu- 
lar ways whereby especial revelation was granted unto any. 
First, For its nature in general it consisted in inspiration*. 
So the apostle speaks of the prophecies recorded in the 
Scripture, 2 Tim. iii. 16. Seo-irvsvuTta. Divine inspiration 
was the original and cause of it. And the acting of the 
Holy Ghost in communicating his mind unto the prophets 
was called inspiration on a double account. First, In an- 
swer unto his name and nature. The name, whereby he is 
revealed unto us, signifieth breath ; and he is called the 
breath of God, whereby his essential relation to the Father 
and Son, with his eternal natural emanation from them, is 
expressed. And therefore, when our Saviour gave him unto 
his disciples as a proper instructive emblem of what he gave 
he breathed upon them; John xx. 22. So also in the great 
work of the infusion of the reasonable soul into the body of 
man, it is said, ' God breathed into him the breath of life;' 
Gen. ii. 7. From hence I say it is, namely, from the nature 
and name of the Holy Spirit, that his immediate actings on 
the minds of men, in the supernatural communication of 
divine revelations unto them, is called inspiration or in- 
breathing. And the unclean spirit counterfeiting his act- 
ings, did inspire his worshippers with a preternatural affla- 
tus, by ways suited unto his own filthy vileness. Secondly, 
This holy work of the Spirit of God, as it is expressed suit- 

d Sed et hoc notandum ex eo quod dixerat ; ut videam quid loquatur, in me ; pro- 
phetiam visionem et eloquium Dei non extrinsecus ad prophetas fieri, sed intrinse- 
cus et interiori homini respondere. Unde et Zacharias, et angelus inquit, qui !o- 
qtie hatur in me. Hieron. Comment, in Habbak. cap. 2. 


able to his name and nature, so the meekness, gentleness, 
facility, wherewith he works, is intended hereby. He did, 
as it were, gently and softly breathe into them the know- 
ledge and comprehension of holy things. It is an especial 
and immediate work wherein he acts suitably unto his na- 
ture as a spirit, the spirit or breath of God; and suitably 
unto his peculiar personal properties of meekness, gentle- 
ness, and peace. So his acting is inspiration, whereby he 
came within the faculties of the souls of men, acting them 
with a power that was not their own. It is true, when he 
had thus inspired any with the mind of God, they had no 
rest, nor could have, unless they declared it in its proper 
way and season ; Jer. xx. 9. ' Then I said I will not make 
mention of him, nor speak in his name any more : but his 
word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my 
bones, and I was weary with forbearing, I could not stay.' 
But this disturbance was from a moral sense of their duty, 
and not from any violent agitations of his upon their na- 
tures. And whereas sometimes trouble and consternation 
of spirit did befal some of the prophets in and under the 
revelations they received from him; it was on a double ac- 
count. First, Of the dreadful representations of things 
that were made unto them in visions. Things of great 
dread and terror were represented unto their fancies and 
imaginations. Secondly, Of the greatness and dread of 
the things themselves revealed, which sometimes were ter- 
rible and destructive; Dan. xvii. 27. vii. 15. 28. Hab. iii. 16. 
Isa. xxi. 2 — 4. But his inspirations were gentle and 

Secondly, The immediate effects of this inspiration were, 
that those inspired were moved or acted by the Holy Ghost. 
Holy men of God spake vtto irvav/uLaTog ayiov cpspo/xevoi ; 
2 Pet. i. 21. * Moved or acted by the Holy Ghost/ And 
two things are intended hereby. First, The preparation and 
elevation of their intellectual faculties, their minds and un- 
derstandings wherein his revelations were to be received. 
He prepared them for to receive the impressions he made 
upon them, and confirmed their memories to retain them. 
He did not indeed so enlighten and raise their minds as to 
give them a distinct understanding and full comprehension 
of all the things themselves that were declared unto them 


There was more in their inspirations than they could search 
into the bottom of e . Hence although the prophets under 
the Old Testament were made use of to communicate the 
clearest revelations and predictions concerning Jesus Christ, 
yet in the knowledge and understanding of the meaning of 
them they were all inferior to John Baptist, as he was in 
this matter to the meanest believer, or ' least in the kingdom 
of heaven.' Therefore, for their own illumination and edifi- 
cation did they diligently inquire, by the ordinary means of 
prayer and meditation, into the meaning of the Spirit of God 
in those prophecies, which themselves received by extraor- 
dinary revelation; 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. Nor did Daniel, who had 
those express representations and glorious visions concern- 
ing the monarchies of the world, and the providential 
alterations which should be wrought in them, understand 
what and how things would be in their accomplishment. 
That account he doth give of himself in the close of his 
visions ; chap. xii. 8, 9. But he so raised and prepared their 
minds, as that they might be capable to receive and retain 
those impressions of things which he communicated unto 
them. So a man tunes the strings of an instrument, that it 
may in a due manner receive the impressions of his finger, 
and give out the sound he intends. He did not speak in 
them or by them, and leave it unto the use of their natural 
faculties, their minds, or memories, to understand and re- 
member the things spoken by him, and so declare them to 
others. But he himself acted their faculties, making use of 
them to express his words, not their own conceptions. And 
herein, besides other things, consists the difference between 
the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and those so called of the 

€ And whereas the ancients contend against the Ebionites,Marcionites, and Mon- 
tanists, as Epiphanius, Advers. Hares, lib. 2. torn. 1. Haeres. 48. Hieron. Prorem. 
Comment, in Isaiam, that the prophets were not usedextatically, but understood the 
things that were spoken to them; they did not intend that they had by virtue of 
their inspiration a full comprehension of the whole sense of the revelations made 
unto them, but only that they were not in or by prophecy deprived of the use of 
.their intellectual faculties, as it befel Satanical enthusiasts. TaZya. yaj aXnSat; 
ngctytiTSiv ev ayla) itvcVfAttri, Ippaj/u-EVJiv e^o'vtojv ttjV Jiavoistv Keu Tr.v SiSacxaXietv xai T>jv SiaXo- 
ylav, as Epiphanius speaks. Wherefore upon these words of Austin, per quosdam 
scientcs, per quosdam nescientes, id quod ex adventu Christi usque nunc et deinccps 
agitur prcenunciaretur esse venturum, de Civitat. Dei, lib. 7. cap. 32. One well 
adds, Prophetae nee omnes sua vaticinia intelligebant, nee qui intelligebant omnia 
intelligebant: lion enim ex se loquebantur sed ex superioreDei afilatu ; cujus consilia 
non omnia eis erant manifesta ; utebaturque Deus illisnon velut consultis futuroruni, 
snd instrumetltis quibus homines alloqucretur. 


devil. The utmost that Satan can do is to make strong im- 
pressions on the imaginations of men, or influencing their 
faculties by possessing, wresting, distorting, the organs of 
the body and spirits of the blood. The Holy Spirit is in 
the faculties and useth them as his organs. And this he did, 
secondly, with that light and evidence of himself, of his 
power, truth, and holiness, as left them liable to no sus- 
picion, whether their minds were under his conduct and in- 
fluence or no. Men are subject to fall so far under the 
power of their own imaginations, through the prevalency of 
a corrupt distempered fancy, as to suppose them super- 
natural revelations. And Satan may and did of old, and 
perhaps doth so still impose on the minds of some, and 
communicate unto them such a conception of his insinua- 
tions, as that they shall for a while think them to be from 
God himself. But in the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, 
and his actings of the minds of the holy men of old, he 
gave them infallible assurance that it was himself alone by 
whom they were acted; Jer. xxiii. 28. If any shall ask by 
what TtK/ju'ipia or infallible tokens, they might know assuredly 
the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, and be satisfied with 
such a persuasion as was not liable, to mistake, that they 
were not imposed upon? I must say plainly, that I cannot tell; 
for these are things whereof we have no experience. Nor is 
any thing of this nature, whatever some falsely and foolishly 
impute unto them who profess and avow an interest in the ordi- 
nary gracious workings of the Holy Ghost, pretended unto. 
What some phrenetical persons in their distempers or under 
their delusions have boasted of, no sober or wise man esteems 
worthy of any sedate consideration. But this I say, it was 
the design of the Holy Ghost to give those whom he did 
thus extraordinarily inspire, an assurance sufficient to bear 
them out in the discharge of their duty, that they were acted 
by himself alone. For in the pursuit of their work which 
they were by him called unto, they were to encounter various 
dangers, and some of them to lay down their lives for a 
testimony unto the truth of the message delivered by them. 
This they could not be engaged into without as full an evi- 
dence of his acting them, as the nature of man in such cases 
is capable of: the case of Abraham fully confirms it. And it 
is impossible but that in these extraordinary workings there 



was such an impression of himself, his holiness, and autho- 
rity left on their minds, as did secure them from all fear of 
delusion. Even upon the word, as delivered by them unto 
others, he put those characters of divine truth, holiness, and 
power, as rendered it a^ioTnarov ' worthy to be believed/ and 
not to be rejected without the highest sin by them unto whom 
it came. Much more was there such an evidence in it unto 
them who enjoyed its original inspiration. Secondly, He 
acted and guided them as to the very organs of their bodies, 
whereby 4hey expressed the revelation which they had re- 
ceived by inspiration from him. They spake as they were 
acted by the Holy Ghost. He guided their tongues in the 
declaration of his revelations, as the mind of a man guideth 
his hand in writing to express its conceptions. Hence David 
having received revelations from him, or being inspired by 
him, affirms in his expression of them, that ' his tongue was 
the pen of a ready writer ;' Psal. xlv. 2. that is, it was so 
guided by the Spirit of God to express the conceptions re- 
ceived from him. And on this account God is said to speak 
by their mouths, ' as he spake by the mouth of the holy 
prophets;' Luke i. 70. all of whom had but one mouth on 
the account of their absolute consent and agreement in the 
same predictions ; for this is the meaning of one voice or 
one mouth in a multitude. ' The Holy Ghost spake by the 
mouth of David;' Acts i. 16. For whatever they received by 
revelation they were but the pipes through which the waters 
of it were conveyed, without the least mixture with any 
allay from their frailties or infirmities. So when David had 
received the pattern of the temple, and the manner of the 
whole worship of God therein by the Spirit; 1 Chron. xxviii. 
12. he says, ' All this the Lord made me understand in 
writing by his hand upon me, even all the work of this 
pattern f ;' ver. 19. The Spirit of God not only revealed it 
unto him, but so guided him in the writing of it down, as 
that he might understand the mind of God out of what him- 
self had written ; or he gave it him so plainly and evidently, 
as if every particular had been expressed in writing by the 
finger of God. 

It remaineth that, as unto this first extraordinary work 

f Nee aer voce pulsatus ad aures eorum perveniebat, sed Deus loquebatur in 
aniiuo prophetarum. Ilieron. Proem, in lib. 1. Commentar. in Isa. 


and gift of the Holy Ghost, we consider those especial ways 
and means which he made use of in the communication of 
his mind unto the prophets, with some other accidental ad- 
juncts of prophecy. Some following Maimonides in his 
' More Nebuchim,' have from the several ways of the com- 
munication of divine revelations, distinguished the degrees 
of prophecy or of the gifts of it, preferring one above another. 
This I have elsewhere disproved, ' Expos. Heb.' chap. i. Nei- 
ther indeed is there either hence, or from any other ground, 
the least occasion to feign those eleven degrees of prophecy 
which he thought he had found out; much less may the 
spirit or gift of prophecy be attained by the ways he pre- 
scribes, and with Tatianus seems to give countenance unto g . 
The distinct outward manners and ways of revelation men- 
tioned in the Scriptures may be reduced unto three heads. 
1. Voices. 2. Dreams. 3. Visions. And the accidental 
adjuncts of it are two; 1. Symbolical actions. 2. Local 
mutations. The schoolmen after Aquinas, xxii. q. 174. A. 1. 
do commonly reduce the means of revelation unto three 
heads. For whereas there are three ways whereby we come 
to know any thing : 1. By our external senses. 2. By im- 
pressions on the fantasy or imagination. 3. By pure acts 
of the understanding ; so God by three ways revealed his 
will unto the prophets : 1. By objects of their senses, as by 
audible voices. 2. By impressions on the imagination in 
dreams and visions. 3. By illustration or enlightening of 
their minds. But as this last way expresseth divine inspi- 
ration, I cannot acknowledge it as a distinct way of revela- 
tion by itself. For it was that which was absolutely neces- 
sary to give an infallible assurance of mind in the other ways 
also. And setting that aside, there is none of them but are 
obnoxious to delusion. 

First, God sometimes made use of an articulate voice, 
speaking out those things which he did intend to declare in 
words significant of them. So he revealed himself or his 
mind unto Moses, when he spake to him ' face to face as a man 
speaketh unto his friend;' Exod. xxxiii. 11. Numb. xii. 8. 
And as far as I can observe the whole revelation made unto 

S TLnvixa. Si tou ©Ecu TTttpi nracnv y.iv olx. eVtiv. ITaji Se tiVi to"; Sixaioit m\iTBuo/A.£- 
]<? xarayo/ASvov, x.al evfj.'rt'hixo' /Atvov tjj -^"X^' ^'* itzoayoosieiaev rat; XotnaT; ■^v^a.'ii; to xe- 
\u(*y.ivov a.va.yyn\t. Tatian. Assyr. Contra. Grrecos. 

L 2 


Moses was by outward audible articulate voices, whose sense 
was impressed on his mind by the Holy Spirit. For an ex- 
ternal voice without an inward elevation and disposition 
of mind, is not sufficient to give security and assurance 
of truth unto him that doth receive it. So God spake to 
Elijah; 1 Kings xix. 12 — 14. as also to Samuel and Jere- 
miah, and it may be to all the rest of the prophets at their 
first calling and entrance into their ministry. For words 
formed miraculously by God, and conveyed sensibly unto 
the outward ears of men, carry a great majesty and autho- 
rity with them. This was not the usual way of God's re- 
vealing his mind, nor is it signified by that phrase of speech, 
* the word of the Lord came unto me ;' whereby no more is 
intended but an immediate revelation, by what way or means 
soever it was granted. Mostly this was by that secret ef- 
fectual impression on their minds which we have before 
described. And these voices were either immediately cre- 
ated by God himself, as when he spake unto Moses, wherein 
the eminency of the revelation made unto him principally 
consisted ; or the ministry of angels was used in the forma- 
tion and pronunciation of them. But, as we observed be- 
fore, the divine certainty of their minds to whom they were 
spoken, with their abilities infallibly to declare them unto 
others, was from an immediate internal work of the Spirit 
of God upon them. Without this the prophets might have 
been imposed on by external audible voices ; nor would they 
by themselves give their minds an infallible assurance. 

Secondly, Dreams were made use of under the Old Tes- 
tament to the same purpose, and unto them also I refer all 
those visions which they had in their sleep though not called 
dreams' 1 . And these in this case were the immediate opera- 
tion of the Holy Ghost, as to the divine and infallible im- 
pressions they conveyed to the minds of men. Hence in 
the promise of the plentiful pouring out of the Spirit, or com- 
munication of his gifts, mention is made of dreams; Actsii. 
17. ' I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons 
and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall 
see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.' Not that 
God intended much to make use of this way of dreams and 

h Sunt autem multa genera prophetandi, quorum unuin est soniniorum quale fuit 
iu Danielc. Hieron. in Hiereinian, cap. 23. 


nocturnal visions under the New Testament ; but the intention 
of the words is to shew, that there should be a plentiful ef- 
fusion of that Spirit which acted by those various ways and 
means then under the Old. Only as to some particular di- 
rections God did sometimes continue his intimations by 
visions in the rest of the night. Such a vision had Paul, 
Acts xvi. 10. But of old this was more frequent. So God 
made a signal revelation unto Abraham, when the 'horror of 
of a deep sleep fell upon him;' Gen. xv. 12 — 14. And Daniel 
heard the voice of the words of him that spake unto him, 
' when he was in a deep sleep ;' Dan. x. 9. But this sleep of 
theirs I look not on as natural, but as that which God sent and 
cast them into, that therein he might represent the image of 
things unto their imaginations. So of old he caused a' deep 
sleep to fall on Adam;' Gen. ii. 21. The Jews distinguish 
between dreams and those visions in sleep, as they may be 
distinctly considered ; but I cast them together under one 
head of revelation in sleep. And this way of revelation was so 
common, that one who pretended to prophesy would cry out 
TiD^TT TO^n, • I have dreamed, I have dreamed ;' Jer. xxiii. 25. 
And by the devil's imitation of God's dealing with his church, 
this became a way of vaticination among the heathen also ; 
Horn. II. 1. Kal yap r ovap Ik Sioc tcrrtv; * a dream is from Ju- 
piter.' And when the reprobate Jews were deserted as to 
all divine revelations, they pretended unto a singular skill in 
the interpretation of dreams, on the account of their deceit 
wherein they were sufficiently infamous. 

Qualiacumque voles Judaei somnia vendent. 

Thirdly, God revealed himself in and by visions or repre- 
sentations of things to the inward or outward senses of the 
prophets. And this way was so frequent, that it bare the 
name for a season of all prophetical revelations. For so we 
observed before, that a prophet of old time was called a 
seer. And that because in their receiving of their prophe- 
cies they saw visions also. So Isaiah terms his whole glo- 
rious prophecy ntn 1i£*X \)\n ' the vision which he saw;' chap, 
i. 1. partly from the especial representation of things that 
were made unto him, chap. vi. 1 — 3. and partly it may be 
from the evidence of the things revealed unto him, which 
were cleared as fully to his mind as if he had had an ocular 


inspection of them. So from the matter of them, prophecies 
began in common to be called the 'burden of the Lord.' For 
he burdened their consciences with his word, and their per- 
sons with its execution. But when false prophets began to 
make frequent use and to serve themselves of this expression 
it was forbidden; Jer. xxiii. 33. 36. And yet we find that 
there is mention hereof about the same time, it may be by Ha- 
bakkuk, i. 1. as also after the return from the captivity ; Zech. 
*x. 1. Mai. i. 1. Either therefore this respected that only sea- 
son wherein false prophets abounded, whom God would thus 
deprive of their pretence ; or indeed the people by contempt 
and scorn did use that expression as that which was familiar 
unto the prophets in their denunciation of God's judgments 
against them, which God here rebukes them for and threatens 
to revenge. But none of the prophets had all their revela- 
tions by visions ; nor doth this concern the communication 
of the gift of prophecy, but its exercise. And their visions 
are particularly recorded. Such were those of Isa. vi. 1, 2. 
Jer. i. 11. 14, 15. Ezek. i. and the like. Now these visions 
were of two sorts 1 . 1. Outward representations of things 
unto the bodily eyes of the prophets. 2. Inward representa- 
tions unto their minds. 1. There were sometimes appear- 
ances of persons or things made to their outward senses. 
And herein God made use of the ministry of angels. Thus 
three men appeared unto Abraham; Gen. xviii. 1, 2. one 
whereof was the Son of God himself, the other two minister- 
ing angels, as hath been proved elsewhere. So was the burn- 
ing bush which Moses saw ; Exod. iii. 2. The appearances 
without similitude of any living thing on Mount Sinai at the 
giving of the law; Exod. xix. The man that Joshua saw at 
the siege of Jericho ; chap. v. 13, 14. Such were the seeth- 
ing-pot and almond-rod seen by Jeremiah, i. 11. 14. as also 
his baskets of figs, and many more of the like kind might be 

4 Propheta Deum qui corporaliter invisibilis est, non corporaliter sed spiritualiter 
videt. Nam raulta genera visionis in Scripturis Sanctis inveniuntur. Unum secun- 
dum oculos corporis, sicut vidit Abraham tres viros sub ilice Mambre. Alterum se- 
cundum quod imaginamur ea quee per corpus sentimus. Nam et pars ipsa nostra 
cum Divinitus assumitur,multarevelantur non per oculos corporis, aut aures, aliumve 
sensum carnalera, sed tamen his similia, sicut vidit Petrus discum ilium submitti a 
coelo cum variis animalibus. Tertium autem genus visionis est secundum mentis in- 
tuitum quo intellecta conspiciuntur Veritas et sapientia ; sine quo genere ilia duo qua*, 
prius posui vel infructuosa sunt vel in errorem mittunt. August, contra Adamantum, 
cap. 28. 


instanced in. In these cases, God made representations of 
things unto their outward senses. 2. They were made some- 
times only to their minds. So it is said expressly, that when 
Peter saw his vision of a sheet knit at the four corners and 
let down from heaven to earth he was in a trance, i-niirtozv 
itr' avrbv iKOTamg; Acts x. 10. An ' ecstasy seized on him,' 
whereby for a season he was deprived of the use of his bo- 
dily senses. And to this head I refer Daniel's and the apo- 
calyptical visions. Especially 1 do so all those wherein a 
representation was made of God himself and his glorious 
throne. Such as that of Micaiah, 1 Kings xxii. 18. and Isa. 
vi. 1. Ezek. i. 3—5. It is evident that in all these there was 
no use of the bodily senses of the prophets, but only their 
minds were affected with the ideas and representation of 
things. But this was so effectual, as that they understood 
not but that they also made use of their visive faculty. 
Hence Peter when he was actually delivered out of prison, 
thought a good while that he had only 'seen a vision;' Acts 
xii. 9. for he knew how powerfully the mind was wont to be 
affected by them. Now these visions of both sorts were 
granted unto the prophets to confirm their minds in the ap- 
prehension of the things communicated unto them for the 
instruction of others. For hereby they were deeply affected 
with them, whereunto a clear idea and representation of 
things doth effectually tend. But yet two things were re- 
quired to render these visions direct and complete parts of 
divine revelation. 1. That the minds of the prophets were 
acted, guided, and raised in a due manner by the Holy Spirit 
for the receiving of them ; this gave them their assurance 
that their visions were from God. 2. His enabling them 
faithfully to retain, and infallibly to declare what was so re- 
presented unto them. For instance, Ezekiel receiveth a vi- 
sion by way of representation unto his mind of a glorious 
fabric of a temple, to instruct the church in the spiritual 
glory and beauty of gospel-worship which was to be intro- 
duced ; chap. xliv. 4 — 6, &c. It seems utterly impossible for 
the mind of man to conceive and retain at once all the har- 
monious structure, dimensions, and laws of the fabric repre- 
sented. This was the peculiar work of the Holy Ghost; 
namely, to implant and preserve the idea presented unto him 
on his mind, and to enable him accurately and infallibly to 


declare it. So David affirms that the Spirit of God made 
him to understand the pattern of the temple built by Solo- 
mon in ' writing by his hand upon him.' 

Secondly, There were some accidental adjuncts of pro- 
phecy, which at some times accompanied it. In the reve- 
lation of the will of God to the prophets, they were some- 
times enjoined symbolical actions. So Isaiah was commanded 
to 'walk naked and bare-foot;' Isa. xx. 1—3. Jeremiah 
to dispose of a 'linen girdle;' chap. xiii. 1, 2. Ezekielto 'lie 
in the siege;' chap. iv. 1—4. and to remove the 'stuff of 
his house;' chap. xii. 3, 4. Hosea to take a wife of 'whore- 
doms,and children of whoredoms;' Hos. i.2. I shall be brief 
in what is frequently spoken unto. Some of these things, 
as Isaiah's going naked, and Hosea's taking a wife of whore- 
doms, contain things in them against the light of nature, 
and the express law of God, and of evil example unto others. 
None of these therefore can be granted to have been actually 
done ; only these things were represented unto them in vi- 
sions, to take the deeper impression upon them. And what 
they saw or did in vision, they speak positively of their so 
seeing or doing ; see Ezek. viii. 3, 4. For the other instances, 
I know nothing, but that the things reported might be really 
performed, and not in vision only. And it is plain that Eze- 
kiel was commanded to do the things he did in the sight of 
the people for their more evident conviction ; chap. xii. 4— 
6. and on the sight whereof they made inquiry what those 
things belonged unto them; chap. xxiv. 19. 

2. Their revelations were accompanied with local muta- 
tions, or rather being carried and transported from one place 
unto another ; so was it with Ezekiel, chap. viii. 3.11. 24. And 
it is expressly said, that it was in the visions of God. Fall- 
ing by divine dispensation into a trance or ecstasy, wherein 
their outward senses were suspended their operation, their 
minds and understandings, were unto their own apprehension 
carried in a holy rapture, from one place unto another, which 
was effected only by a divine and efficacious representation 
of the things unto them, which were done in the places from 
whence they were really absent. And these are some of 
those accidents of prophetical revelations which are recorded 
in the Scripture ; and it is possible that some other instances 
of the like nature may be observed. And all these belong 


to the TroXvrpoTria rf}c Suae tm\v<jz(x)g, or manifold variety of 
divine revelations, mentioned Heb. i. 1. 

But here a doubt of no small difficulty nor of less impor- 
tance presents itself unto us. Namely, whether the Holy 
Ghost did ever grant the holy inspirations, and the gift of pro- 
phecy thereby, unto men wicked andunsanctifed k . For the apo- 
stle Peter tells us, that 'holy men spake of old as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost ;' 2 Pet. i. 21. which seems to in- 
timate, that all those who were inspired and moved by him, 
as to this gift of prophecy, were holy men of God 1 . And yet 
on the other hand, we shall find that true prophecies have been 
given out by men seeming utterly void of all sanctifying 
grace. And to increase the difficulty, it is certain that great 
predictions, and those with respect unto Christ himself, have 
been given and made by men guided and acted for the most 
part by the devil. So was it with Balaam, who was a sor- 
cerer, that gave himself to diabolical enchantments and di- 
vinations, and as such an one was destroyed by God's appoint- 
ment. Yea, at or about the same time wherein he uttered a 
most glorious prophecy concerning the Messiah, the star of 
Jacob ; being left unto his own spirit and inclination, he gave 
cursed advice and counsel for the drawing of the people of 
God into destructive and judgment-procuring sins ; Numb, 
xxxiii. 16. And in the whole of his enterprise he thought to 
have satisfied his covetousness with a reward for cursing 
them by his enchantments. And yet this man not only pro- 
fesseth of himself that he heard the words of God and saw 
the visions of the Almighty; Numb.xxiv. 4. but did actually 
foretell and prophecy glorious things concerning Christ and 
his kingdom. Shall we then think that the Holy Spirit of 

k Prophetce erant Baal, et prophets confusionis, et alii offensionum, et quoscun- 
que vitiosos prophetas Scriptura commemorat. Hieron. Comment in Epist. ad Ti- 
tum. cap. i. 

1 Zrnns-ei; Je el wavTEC, Ei tic TT%o$nrvJii, in meu/xaroi; ayiou TTpo<}»!TEu£i ; tt3? Se ov £r,Tri- 
C"£»? a£i'ov 69TCV, Ei ye Aa#iJ fxera. rhv evu tou Oupiou a/xapriav eu'Kaffo'jfjt.evoS a<f>aipE9>iva» 

ow' avrov to ayiov •ajvevy.a. <priTi. To 'njvev/xa to ayiov crov fxri aVTavsXnj kit ey.ou.  

o'Jroo Se tyrns-ext; a£io'v eVti to itefi tou aylov TTVE^aTOf ei Suvarai E?rat xai ey afxa^TOXS 
4-^X^- Origen. Commentar. in Johan. torn. .'30. 

I'rophetias mysterio usi sunt etiam qui exorbitaverant a vera religione, quia et i 1 lis 
ik'dit Deus verbum suum ut mysteria futura pronunciarent horninibus. Hieron. 
Comment, in Job, cap. 33. 

Nam et prophetare et daemonia excludere et virtutes magnas in terris facere sub- 
lines utique et adniirabilis res est, non tamen regnum coeleste consequitur quisquis 
in his omnibus invenitur, nisi recti et justi itineris observatione gradiatur. Cyprian, 
de Veritat. Ecclesiae. 


God will immix his own holy inspirations, with the wicked 
suggestions of the devil in a soothsayer? Or shall we sup- 
pose that the devil was the author of those predictions, 
whereas God reproacheth false gods and their prophets acted 
by them, that they could not declare the things that should 
happen, nor shew the things that were to come afterward ? 
Isa. xli. 22, 23. So also it is said of Saul, that the Spirit of 
the Lord departed from him, and an evil spirit vexed him ; 
and yet afterward that the ' Spirit of God came upon him, 
and he prophesied ;' 1 Sam. xix. 24. The old prophet at 
Bethel who lied unto the prophet that came from Judah, 
and that in the name of the Lord, seducing him unto sin and 
destruction, and probably defiled with the idolatry and false 
worship of Jeroboam, was yet esteemed a prophet, and did 
foretell what came to pass ; 1 Kings xiii. 

Sundry things may be offered for the solution of this dif- 
ficulty. For, 1. as to that place of the apostle Peter; (1.) It 
may not be taken universally, that all who prophesied at any 
time were personally holy, but only that for the most part so 
they were. (2.) He seems to speak particularly of them only 
who were penmen of the Scripture, and of those prophecies 
which remain therein for the instruction of the church, con- 
cerning whom I no way doubt but that they were all sanctified 
and holy. (3.) It may be that he understandeth not real in- 
herent holiness, but only a separation and dedication unto 
God by especial office, which is a thing of another nature. 
2. The gift of prophecy is granted not to be initself and its own 
nature a sanctifying grace, nor is the inspiration so whereby 
it is wrought. For whereas it consists in an affecting of the 
mind with a transient irradiation of light in hidden things, it 
neither did nor could of itself produce faith, love, or holi- 
ness, in the heart. Another work of the Holy Ghost was ne- 
cessary hereunto. 3. There is therefore no inconsistency in 
this matter, that God should grant an immediate inspiration 
unto some that were not really sanctified. And yet I would 
not grant this to have been actually done without a just limi- 
tation. For whereas some were established to be prophets 
unto the church in the whole course of their lives, after their 
first call from God, as Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, and 
the rest of the prophets mentioned in the Scripture ; in like 
manner, I no way doubt but they were all of them really sane- 


tified by the Holy Spirit of God. But others there were who 
had only some occasional discoveries of hidden or future 
things made unto them, or fell into some ecstasies or raptures, 
with a supernatural agitation of their minds (as it is twice 
said of Saul) for a short season. And I see no reason why 
we may not grant, yea, from Scripture testimonies we must 
grant, that many such persons may be so acted by the Holy 
Spirit of God. So was it with wicked Caiaphas who is said 
to prophesy; John xi. 51. And a great prophecy indeed it 
was which his words expressed, greater than which, there is 
none in the Scripture. But the wretch himself knew nothing 
of the importance of what was uttered by him. A sudden 
impression of the Spirit of God caused him, against his in- 
tention, to utter a sacred truth, and that because he was high- 
priest, whose words were of great reputation with the people™. 
And as Balaam was over-ruled to prophesy and speak good 
of Israel, when he really designed and desired to curse them : 
so this Caiaphas, designing the destruction of Jesus Christ, 
brought forth those words which expressed the salvation of 
the world by his death. 4. For the difficulty about Balaam 
himself, who was a sorcerer, and the devil's prophet, I acknow- 
ledge it is of importance. But sundry things may be of- 
fered for the removal of it. Some do contend that Balaam 
was a prophet of God only. That indeed he gave himself 
unto judicial astrology, and the conjecture of future events 
from natural causes. But as to his prophecies, they were all 
divine; and the light of them affecting only the speculative 
part of his mind, had no influence upon his will, heart, and 
affections, which were still corrupt. This Tostatus pleadeth 
for. But as it is expressly said, that he ' sought for enchant- 
ments;' Numb. xxiv. 1. So the whole description of his 
course and end gives him up as a cursed sorcerer, and he is 
expressly called OQip, 'a soothsayer;' Josh. xii. 22. Which 
word though we have once rendered by ' prudent,' that is, 
one who prudently conjectureth at future events according 
unto present appearing causes, Isa. iii. 2. yet it is mostly 
used for a diabolical diviner or soothsayer. And for what 
he said of himself, that he ' heard the voice of God, and saw 

m Er tij fA.lv ouv TTpo^jiiTi); Ecrri TraVTa;; Tl^o<pririvtt ; Ei Se tij Tlpo<frirevsi 011 wayrmq io-iT 

Ilgotyrnnz. ex Se twv weji tov Kaiacfav avayiygafx/ntvcov, ITpo<f»m^c"aVTa 7tepi 

tou o-wriifot; , eVtiv oti kiu fxo^ti^a -^v^n IwiJe^eTai wots to nfo<f»mu£iv. Origen. Com- 
ment in Johan. sect. 30. 


the visions of the Most High/ it might be only his own 
boasting to procure veneration to his diabolical incantations. 
But in reputation we find he was in those days in the 
world, and supposed he was to utter divine oracles unto men. 
This God in his providence made use of to give out a testi- 
mony to the nations concerning the coming of the Messiah, 
the report whereof was then almost lost amongst men. In 
this condition it may be granted, that the good Spirit of God, 
without the least reflection on the majesty and purity of his 
own holiness did overrule the power of the devil, cast out 
his suggestions from the man's mind, and gave such an im- 
pression of sacred truths in the room of them, as he could 
not but utter and declare. For that instant he did as it were 
take the instrument out of the hand of Satan, and by his 
impression on it caused it to give a sound according to his 
mind, which when he had done he left it again unto his 
possession. And I know not but that he might do so some- 
times with others among the Gentiles who were professedly 
given up to receive and give out the oracles of the devil. 
So he made the damsel possessed with a spirit of divination 
and soothsaying to acknowledge Paul and his companions 
to be servants of the Most High God, and to shew to men 
the way of salvation; Acts xvi. 16, 17. And this must be 
acknowledged by them who suppose that the sybils gave 
out predictions concerning Jesus Christ, seeing the whole 
strain of their prophetical oracles were expressly diabolical. 
And no conspiracy of men or devils shall cause him to forego 
his sovereignty over them, and the using of them to his own 
glory. 5. The case of Saul is plain. The Spirit of the Lord 
who departed from him, was the Spirit of wisdom, modera- 
tion, and courage, to fit him for rule and government, that is, 
the gifts of the Holy Ghost unto that purpose, which he 
withdrew from him. And the evil spirit that was upon him, 
proceeded no farther but to the stirring up vexations and 
disquieting affections of mind. And notwithstanding this 
molestation and punishment inflicted on him, the Spirit of 
God might at a season fall upon him so as to cast him 
into a rapture or ecstasy wherein his mind was acted 
and exercised in an extraordinary manner, and himself 
transported into actions that were not at all according 
unto his own inclinations. So is this case well resolved 


by Augustine". And for the old prophet at Bethel, 1 Kings 
xiii. although he appears to have been an evil man, yet 
lie was one whom God made use of to reveal his min'd some- 
times to that people; nor is it probable that he was under 
satanical delusions like the prophets of Baal; for he is 
absolutely called a prophet, and the word of the Lord did 
really come unto him ; ver. 20, 21. 

The writing of the Scripture was another effect of the Holy 
Ghost, which had its beginning under the Old Testament. 
I reckon this as a distinct gift from prophecy in general, or 
rather a distinct species or kind of prophecy. For many pro- 
phets there were divinely inspired, who yet never wrote any 
of their prophecies, nor any thing else for the use of the 
church. And many penmen of the Scripture, were no pro- 
phets in the strict sense of that name. And the apostle tells 
us that the 17 ypcupj), the Scripture or writing itself was by 
inspiration from God ; 1 Tim. iii. 16. as David affirms that he 
had the pattern of the temple from the Spirit of God in 
writing, because of his guidance of him in putting its de- 
scription into writing ; 1 Chron. xxviii. 19. Now this mi- 
nistry was first committed unto Moses, who besides the five 
books of the law, probably also wrote the story of Job. 
Many prophets there were before him, but he was the first 
who committed the will of God to writing, after God himself, 
who wrote the law in tables of stone, which was the begin- 
ning and pattern of the Scriptures. The writers of the his- 
torical books of the Old Testament before the captivity are 
unknown. The Jews call them ED^r^frn 0^03 ' the first' or 
' former prophets.' Who they were in particular is not known ; 
but certain it is that they were of the number of those holy 
men of God, who of old wrote and spake as they were moved 

n Saul invidiae stiinulo suscitatus et malo spiritu ssepe arreptus, cum David occi- 
dere vellet, et ipse David tunc cum Sanmele et ca/terorum prophetarum cuneo pro- 
phetaret, misit Saul nuncios et ipsum inh-rficiendum de medio prophetarum rnpere 
jubet. — Sed et ipse cum inter prophetas venerat prophetabat. — Quouiam Spiritus 
Sancti verba non dicentium merito pensantur, sed ipsius voluntate ubicunque voluc- 
rit proferuntur. At vero quidam in hoc loco sestimant quod Saul non Divino Spi- 
ritu sed malo illo quo saepe arripiebatur per totum ilium diem prophetaret. 

Sed qualiter hoc sentiri potest cum ita scribitur; et sanctus est super euro Spiritus 
Domini et ambulans prophetabat? nisi forte sic in hoc loco accipi-itur Spiritus Do- 
mini quomodo et alio loco Spiritus Domini mains Saul arripiebat. Verumtamen ubi- 
cunque sine additamento Spiritus Dei vel Spiritus Domini vel Spiritus Christi in Sci ip- 
turis Sanctis invenitur, Spiritus Sanctus esse a nullo sano sensu dubitatur. T'bicun- 
que vero cum additamento Spiritus Domini malus dicitur esse, intelligitur Diabolus 
esse, qui Domini propter ministerium, mains propter vitiuiu dictus videtur. Aiigust 
de mirabil. Scriptune, lib. 1. cap. 10. 


by the Holy Ghost; hence are they called prophets. For 
although they wrote in an historical manner, as did Moses 
also, concerning things past and gone in their days, or it 
may be presently acted in their own times, yet they did not 
write them either from their own memory, nor from tradition, 
nor from the rolls or records of times (although they might 
be furnished with, and skilled in these things), but by the 
inspiration, guidance, and direction, of the Holy Ghost. 
Hence are they called prophets, in such a latitude as the 
word may be used in, to signify any that are divinely inspired, 
or receive immediate revelations from God. And thus was 
it with all the penmen of the Holy Scripture. As their 
minds were under that full assurance of divine inspiration 
which we before described, so their words which they wrote 
were under the especial care of the same Spirit, and were of 
his suggestion or inditing. 

There were, therefore, three things concurring in this 
work. 1. The inspiration of the minds of these prophets, 
with the knowledge and apprehension of the things commu- 
nicated unto them. 2. The suggestion of words unto them, 
to express what their minds conceived. 3. The guidance 
of their hands, in setting down the words suggested ; or of 
their tongues, in uttering them unto those by whom they were 
committed to writing ; as Baruch wrote the prophecy of Je- 
remiah from his mouth ; Jer. xxxvi. 3.18. If either of these 
were wanting, the Scripture could not be absolutely and 
every way divine and infallible. For if the penmen of it 
were left unto themselves in any thing wherein that writing 
was concerned, who can secure us that nihil humani, no hu- 
man imperfection mixed itself therewithal. I know some 
think that the matter and substance of things only was com- 
municated unto them ; but as for the words whereby it was 
to be expressed, that was left unto themselves and their own 
abilities. And this they suppose is evident from that va- 
riety of style which, according to their various capacities, 
education, and abilities, is found amongst them. This argues, 
as they say, that the wording of their revelations was left 
unto themselves, and was the product of their natural abili- 
ties. This, in general, I have spoken unto elsewhere, and 
manifested what mistakes sundry have run into about the 
style of the holy penmen of the Scripture. Here I shall not 


take up what hath been argued and evinced in another place. 
I only say that the variety intended ariseth mostly from the 
variety of the subject matters treated of; nor is it such as 
will give any countenance to the profaneness of this opinion. 
For the Holy Ghost in his work on the minds of men doth 
not put a force upon them, nor acts them any otherwise than 
they are in their own natures, and with their present endow- 
ments and qualifications meet to be acted and used. He 
leads and conducts them in such paths wherein they are able 
to walk. The words therefore which he suggests unto them 
are such as they are accustomed unto, and he causeth them 
to make use of such expressions as were familiar unto them- 
selves. So he that useth divers seals maketh different im- 
pressions, though the guidance of them all be equal and the 
same. And he that toucheth skilfully several musical in- 
struments variously tuned, maketh several notes of music. 
We may also grant and do, that they used their own abili- 
ties of mind and understanding in the choice of words and 
expressions. So the Preacher sought to find out acceptable 
words; Eccles. xii. 10. But the Holy Spirit who is more 
intimate unto the minds and skill of men than they are them- 
selves, did so guide, act, and operate in them, as that the 
words they fixed upon were as directly and certainly from 
him, as if they had been spoken to them by an audible voice. 
Hence that which was written was upright, even words of 
truth, as in that place. This must be so, or they could not 
speak as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, nor could 
their writing be said to be of divine inspiration. Hence oft- 
times in the original great senses and significations depend 
on a single letter, as, for instance, in the change of the name 
of Abraham ; and our Saviour affirms, that every apex and 
iota of the law is under the care of God, as that which was 
given by inspiration from himself; Matt. v. But I have on 
other occasions treated of these things, and shall not there 
fore here enlarge upon them. 

The third sort of the immediate extraordinary operations of 
the Holy Ghost absolutely exceeding the actings and compli- 
ance of human faculties are miracles of all sorts, which were 
frequent under the Old Testament. Such were many things 
wrought by Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, with some 
others ; those by Moses exceeding, if the Jews fail not in 


their computation, all the rest that are recorded in the Scrip- 
ture. Now these were all the immediate effects of the divine 
power of the Holy Ghost. He is the sole Author of all real 
miraculous operations. For by miracles we understand such 
effects as are really beyond and above the power of natural 
causes, however applied unto operation. Now it is said ex- 
pressly that our Lord Jesus Christ wrought miracles (for 
instance, the casting out of devils from persons possessed) 
by the Holy Ghost. And if their immediate production 
were by him in the human nature of Jesus Christ personally 
united unto the Son of God ; how much more must it be 
granted, that it was he alone by whose power they were 
wrought in those who had no such relation unto the divine 
nature. And therefore where they are said to be wrought 
by the hand or finger of God, it is the person of the Holy 
Spirit which is precisely intended as we have declared be- 
fore ; and the persons by whom they were wrought were 
never the real subjects of the power whereby they were 
wrought, as though it should be inherent and residing in 
them as a quality; Acts ii. 12. 16. Only they were infalli- 
bly directed by the Holy Ghost by word or action to pre- 
signify their operation. So was it with Joshua when he 
commanded the ' sun and moon to stand still ;' Josh. x. 12. 
There was no power in Joshua, no not extraordinarily com- 
municated to him, to have such a real influence upon the 
whole frame of nature as to effect so great an alteration 
therein. Only he had a divine warranty to speak that which 
God himself would effect ; whence it is said, that therein ' God 
hearkened unto the voice of a man;' ver. 14: It is a vanity of 
the greatest magnitude in some of the Jews, as Maimonides, 
* More Nebuch.' p. 2. cap. 35. Levi B. Gerson on the place, 
and others who deny any fixation of the sun or moon, and 
judge that it is only the speed of Joshua in subduing his 
enemies before the close of that day which is intended. This 
they contend for lest Joshua should be thought to have 
wrought a greater miracle than Moses. But as the prophet 
Habakkuk is express to the contrary, chap. iii. 11. and their 
own Sirachides, cap. 45, 46. so it is no small prevarication 
in some Christians to give countenance unto such a putid 
fiction; see Grot, in loc. It is so in all other miraculous 
operations, even where the parts of the bodies of men were 


made instrumental of the miracle itself, as in the gift of 
tongues. They who had that gift did not so speak from any 
skill or ability residing in them, but they were merely organs 
of the Holy Ghost which he moved at his pleasure. Now 
the end of all these miraculous operations was to give re- 
putation to the persons, and to confirm the ministry of them 
by whom they were wrought. For as at first they were the 
occasion of wonder and astonishment, so upon their consi- 
deration they evidenced the respect and regard of God unto 
such persons and their work. So when God sent Moses to 
declare his will in an extraordinary manner unto the people 
of Israel, he commands him to work several miracles or sians 
before them, that they might believe that he was sent of God ; 
Exod. iv. 8. And such works were called signs, because 
they were tokens and pledges of the presence of the Spirit 
of God with them by whom they were wrought. Nor was 
this gift ever bestowed on any man alone, or for its own sake, 
but it was always subordinate unto the work of revealing or 
declaring the mind of God. And these are the general heads 
of the extraordinary operations of the Holy Spirit of God 
in works exceeding all human or natural abilities in their 
whole kind. 

The next sort of the operations of the Holy Ghost under 
the Old Testament, whose explanation was designed, is of 
those whereby he improved, through immediate impressions 
of his own power, the natural faculties and abilities of the 
minds of men. And these, as was intimated, have respect to 
things political, moral, natural, and intellectual, with some of 
a mixed nature. 

I. He had in them respect unto things political; such were 
his gifts whereby he enabled sundry persons unto rule and 
civil government amongst men. Government or supreme rule 
is of great concernment unto the glory of God in the world, 
and of the highest usefulness unto mankind. Without it the 
whole world would be filled with violence, and become a 
stage for all wickedness visibly and openly to act itself upon 
in disorder and confusion. And all men confess that unto a 
due management hereof unto its proper ends, sundry peculiar 
gifts and abilities of mind are required in them, and needful 
for them, who are called thereunto. These are they them- 
selves to endeavour after, and sedulously to improve the mea- 



sures wKich they have attained of them. And where this is 
by any neglected, the world and themselves will quickly 
feed on the fruits of that negligence. But yet because the 
utmost of what men may of this kind obtain by their ordi- 
nary endeavours, and an ordinary blessing thereon, is not 
sufficient for some especial ends which God aimed at, in and 
by their rule and government ; the Holy Ghost did often- 
times give an especial improvement unto their abilities of 
mind, by his own immediate and extraordinary operation. 
And in some cases he manifested the effects of his power 
herein, by some external visible signs of his coming on them 
in whom he so wrought. So in the first institution of the San- 
hedrim, or court of seventy elders, to bear together with 
Moses the burden of the people in their rule and govern- 
ment; the Lord is said ' to put his Spirit upon them,' and 
that ' the Spirit rested on them ;' Numb. xi. 16, 17. ' And the 
Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the 
elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be elders of the 
people and officers over them. And I will take of the Spirit 
that is upon thee, and put it upon them, and they shall bear 
the burden of the people with thee;' ver. 25. ' And the Lord 
took of the Spirit that was on Moses and gave it unto the 
seventy elders, and the Spirit rested on them.' That which 
these elders were called unto, was a share in the supreme 
rule and government of the people, which was before entirely 
in the hand of Moses. This the occasion of their call de- 
clares; ver. 11 — 15. and they were O'^Dlii* 'inferior officers' 
before; such as they had in Egypt, who influenced the peo- 
ple by their counsel and arbitration; Exod. iii. 16. v. 6. xxiv. 
1. 9. Now they had a supreme power in judgment committed 
to them, and were thence called a>r6N or * gods/ For these 
were they unto whom ' the word of God came/ who were thence 
called gods ; John x. 34, 35. Psal. Ixxxii. 6. and not the 
prophets who had neither power nor rule. And on them the 
Spirit of God that was in Moses rested; that is, wrought the 
same abilities for government in them as he had received: 
that is, wisdom, righteousness, diligence, courage, and the 
like: that they might judge the people wisely, and look to 
the execution of the law impartially. Now when the Spirit 
of God thus rested oh them, it is said they 'prophesied and 
ceased not;' ver. 25, 26. that is, they sang or spake forth 


the praises of God, in such a way and manner as made it evi- 
dent unto all that they were extraordinarily acted by the 
Holy Ghost. So is that word used 1 Sam. x. 10. and else- 
where. But this gift and work of prophecy was not the es- 
pecial end for which they were endowed by the Spirit, for 
they were now called, as hath been declared, unto rule and 
government. But because their authority and rule was new 
among the people, God gave that visible sign and pledge of 
his calling them to their office, that they might have a due 
veneration of their persons, and acquiesce in their authority. 
And hence from the ambiguity of that word 1DD» h6l which 
we render ' and ceased not,' they ' prophesied and ceased 
not,' ver. 25. which may signify to ' add' as well as to 'cease,' 
many of the Jews affirm, that they so prophesied no more 
but that day only ; they prophesied then and added not ; that 
is, to do so any more. So when God would erect a kingdom 
amongst them, which was a new kind of o-overnment unto 
them, and designed Saul to be the person that should reign, 
it is said that he ' gave him another heart;' 1 Sam. x. 9. that 
is, the Spirit of God came upon him, as it is elsewhere ex- 
pressed, to endow him with that\visdom and magnanimity that 
might make him meet for kingly rule. And because he was 
new called from a low condition unto royal dignity, the com- 
munication of the Spirit of God unto him, was accompanied 
with a visible sign and token, that the people might ac- 
quiesce in his government, who were ready to despise his 
person. For he had also an extraordinary afflatus of the 
Spirit, expressing itself in a 'visible rapture;' ver. 10, 11. 
And in like manner he dealt with others. For this cause 
also he instituted the ceremony of anointing at their inau- 
guration ; for it was a token of the communication of the 
gifts of the Holy Ghost unto them ; though respect were 
had therein to Jesus Christ, who was to be anointed with all 
his fulness, of whom they were types unto that people. Now 
these gifts for government are natural and moral abilities of 
the minds of men, such as are prudence, righteousness, cou- 
rage, zeal, clemency, and the like. And when the Holy Ghost 
fell upon any persons to enable them for political rule, and 
the administration of the civil power, he did not communi- 
cate gifts and abilities unto them quite of another kind, but 
only gave them an extraordinary improvement of their own 

m 2 


ordinary abilities. And, indeed, so great is the burden 
wherewith a just and useful government is attended, so great 
and many are the temptations which power and a confluence 
of earthly things will invite and draw towards them, that 
without some especial assistance of the Holy Spirit of God, 
men cannot choose but either sink under the weight of it, 
or wretchedly miscarry in its exercise and management. 
This made Solomon, when God, in the beginning of his reign, 
gave him his option of all earthly desirable things, to prefer 
wisdom and knowledge for rule before them all ; 2 Chron. 
i. 10 — 12. And this he received from him who is the ' Spirit 
of wisdom and understanding;' Isa. xi. 3. And if the rulers 
of the earth would follow this example, and be earnest with 
God for such supplies of his Spirit as might enable them 
unto a holy righteous discharge of their office, it would in 
many places be better with them and the world, than it is or 
can be where is the state of things described Hos. vii. 3 — 5. 
Now God of old did carry this dispensation out of the pale 
of the church, for the effecting of some especial ends of his 
own ; and I no way question but that he continueth still so 
to do. Thus he anointed Cyrus, and calls him his anointed 
accordingly ; Isa. xlv. 1. For Cyrus had a double work to do 
for God in both parts, whereof he stood in need of his es- 
pecial assistance. He was to execute his judgments and 
vengeance on Babylon, as also to deliver his people that 
they might re-edify the temple. For both these he stood in 
need, and did receive especial aid from the Spirit of God, 
though he was in himself but a ' ravenous bird of prey;' 
Isa. xlvi. 11. For the gifts of this Holy One in this kind, 
wrought no real holiness in them on whom they were be- 
stowed ; they were only given them for the good and benefit 
of others, with their own success in what they attempted 
unto that purpose : yea, and many on whom they are be- 
stowed, never consider the author of them, but sacrifice to 
their own nets and drags, and look on themselves as the 
springs of their own wisdom and ability. But it is no wonder 
that all regard unto the gifts of the Holy Ghost in the go- 
vernment of the world is despised, when his whole work in 
and towards the church itself is openly derided. 

2. We may add hereunto those especial endowments 
with some moral virtues, which he granted unto sundry per- 


sons for the accomplishment of some especial design. So he 
came upon Gideon and upon Jephthah, to anoint them unto 
the work of delivering the people from their adversaries in 
battle ; Judg. vi. 34. xi. 29. It is said before of them both, 
that they were 'men of valour;' chap. vi. 12. xi. 1. This 
coming therefore of the Spirit of God upon them, and cloth- 
ing of them, was his especial excitation of their courage, 
and his fortifying of their minds against those dangers they 
were to conflict withal. And this he did by such an effica- 
cious impression of his power upon them, as that both them- 
selves received thereby a confirmation of their call, and 
others might discern the presence of God with them. Hence 
it is said, that ' the Spirit of the Lord clothed them,' they 
being warmed in themselves, and known to others, by his 
gifts and actings of them, 

3. There are sundry instances of his adding unto the gifts 
of the mind, whereby he qualified persons for their duties, 
even bodily strength, when that also was needful for the work 
whereunto he called them ; such was his gift unto Samson. 
His bodily strength was supernatural, a mere effect of the. 
power of the Spirit of God ; and therefore when he put it 
forth in his calling, it is said, that ' the Spirit of the Lord 
came mightily upon him ;' Judg. xiv. 6. xv. 14. or wrought 
powerfully in him. And he gave him this strength in the 
way of an ordinance, appointing the growing of his hair to 
be the sign and pledge of it ; the care whereof being vio- 
lated by him, he lost for a season the gift itself. 

4. He also communicated gifts intellectual, to be exercised 
in and about things natural and artificial. So he endowed 
Bezaliel and Aholiab with wisdom and skill in all manner of 
curious workmanship, about all sorts of things for the build- 
ing and beautifying of the tabernacle ; Exod. xxxi. 2, 3. 
Whether Bezaliel was a man that had before given himself 
unto the acquisition of those arts and sciences, is altogether 
uncertain. But certain it is that his present endowments 
were extraordinary. The Spirit of God heightened and im- 
proved and strengthened the natural faculties of his mind, 
to a perception and understanding of all the curious works 
mentioned in that place, and unto a skill how to contrive 
and dispose of them into their order designed by God him- 
self. And, therefore, although the skill and wisdom men- 


tioned differed not in the kind of it from that which others 
attained by industry ; yet he received it by an immediate 
afflatus or inspiration of the Holy Ghost, as to that degree, 
at least, which he was made partaker of. 

Lastly, The assistance given unto holy men for the 
publishing and preaching of the word of God to others, as to 
Noah, who was a preacher of righteousness ; 2 Pet. ii. 5. 
for the conviction of the world and conversion of the elect, 
wherein the Spirit of God strove with men ; Gen. vi. 3. and 
preached unto them that were disobedient ; 1 Pet. iii. 19, 
20. might here also be considered, but that the explanation 
of his whole work in that particular will occur unto us in a 
more proper place. 

And thus I have briefly passed through the dispensation of 
the Spirit of God under the Old Testament. Nor have I aimed 
therein to gather up his whole work and all his actings ; for 
then every thing that is praiseworthy in the church must 
have been inquired into ; for all without him is death, and 
darkness, and sin. All life, light, and power, are from him 
alone. And the instances of things expressly assigned unto 
him which we have insisted on, are sufficient to manifest 
that the whole being and welfare of the church depended 
solely on his will and his operations. And this will yet be 
more evident, when we have also considered those other 
effects and operations of his, which being common to both 
states of the church under the Old Testament and the New, 
are purposely here omitted, because the nature of them is 
more fully cleared in the gospel, wherein also their exempli- 
fications are more illustrious. From him, therefore, was the 
word of promise and the gift of prophecy, whereon the 
church was founded, and whereby it was built : from him 
was the revelation and institution of all the ordinances of 
religious worship: from him was that communication of 
gifts and gracious abilities which any persons received for 
the edification, rule, protection, and deliverance of the 
church. All these things were wrought by ' that one and 
selfsame Spirit, which divideth to every man severally as 
he will.' And if this were the state of things under the Old 
Testament, a judgment may thence be made how it is under 
the New. The principal advantage of the present state above 
that which is past, next unto the coming of Christ in the 


flesh, consists in the pouring out of the Holy Ghost upon 
the disciples of Christ in a larger manner than formerly. 
And yet I know not how it is come to pass that some men 
think that neither he nor his work are of any great use unto 
us. And whereas we find every thing that is good even 
under the Old Testament, assigned unto him as the sole im- 
mediate author of it, it is hard to persuade with many that 
he continues now to do almost any good at all. And what 
he is allowed to have any hand in, it is sure to be so stated, 
as that the principal praise of it may redound unto our- 
selves ; so diverse, yea so adverse, are the thoughts of God 
and men in these things, where our thoughts are not capti- 
vated unto the obedience of faith. But we must shut up 
this discourse. It is a common saying among the Jewish 
masters, that the gift of the Holy Ghost ceased under the 
second temple, or after the finishing of it. Their meaning 
must be, that it did so as to the gifts of ministerial pro- 
phecy, of miracles, and of writing the mind of God by in- 
spiration for the use of the church ; otherwise, there is no 
truth in their observation. For there were afterward espe- 
cial revelations of the Holy Ghost granted unto many, as unto 
Simeon and Anna ; Luke i. And others constantly received 
of his gifts and graces to enable them unto obedience, and 
fit them for their employments. For without a continuance 
of these supplies, the church itself must absolutely cease. 







The work of the Spirit of God, in the new creation, proposed to considera- 
tion. The importance of the doctrine hereof. The plentiful effusion of 
the Spirit the great promise respecting the times of the New Testament. 
Ministry of the gospel founded in the promise of the Spirit. How this 
promise is made unto all believers. Injunction to all to pray for the Spirit 
of God. The solemn promise of Christ to send his Spirit ivhen he left the 
world. The ends for to/rich he promised him. The ivork of the new crea- 
tion the principal means of the revelation of God and his glory. How 
this revelation is made in particular herein. 

We are now arrived at that part of our work which was prin- 
cipally intended in the whole; and that because our faith 
and obedience is principally therein concerned. This is the 
dispensation and work of the Holy Ghost, with respect to 
the gospel; or the new creation of all things in and by Jesus 
Christ. And this, if any thing in the Scripture, is worthy of 
our most diligent inquiry and meditation ; nor is there any 
more important principle and head of that religion which we 
do profess. The doctrine of the being and unity of the di- 
vine nature, is common to us with the rest of mankind, and 
hath been so from the foundation of the world; however 
some, like brute beasts, have herein also corrupted themselves. 
The doctrine of the Trinity, or the subsistence of three per- 
sons in the one divine nature or being, was known to all who 
enjoyed divine revelation, even under the Old Testament, 
though to us it be manifested with more light and convincing 
evidence. The incarnation of the Son of God was promised 
and expected from the first entrance of sin, and received its 
actual accomplishment in the fulness of time, during the 


continuance of the Mosaical pedagogy. But this dispen- 
sation of the Holy Ghost, whereof we now proceed to treat, 
is so peculiar unto the New Testament, that the evangelist, 
speaking of it, says, ' The Holy Ghost was not yet given, be- 
cause Jesus was not yet glorified ;' John vii. 39. And they 
who were instructed in the doctrine of John the Baptist only, 
knew not whether there ' were any Holy Ghost ;' Acts xix.2. 
Both which sayings concerned his dispensation under the 
New Testament ; for his eternal being and existence they 
were not ignorant of, nor did he then first begin to be, as we 
have fully manifested in our foregoing discourses. To stir 
us up, therefore, unto diligence in this inquiry, unto what 
was in general laid down before, 1 shall add some conside- 
rations, evidencing the greatness and necessity of this duty, 
and then proceed to the matter itself, that we have proposed 
to handle and explain. 

1. The plentiful effusion of the Spirit is that which was 
principally prophesied of, and foretold as the great privilege 
and pre-eminence of the gospel-church state ; this was that 
good wine which was kept until the last : this all the prophets 
bear witness unto; see Isa. xxxv. 7. xliv. 3. Joel ii. 28. Ezek. 
xi. 19. xxxvi. 27. with other places innumerable. The great 
promise of the Old Testament was that concerning the 
comins; of Christ in the flesh. But he was so to come as to 
put an end unto that whole church state, wherein his coming 
was expected. To prove this was the principal design of 
the apostle in his Epistle to the Hebrews. But this promise 
of the Spirit, whose accomplishment was reserved for the 
times of the gospel, was to be the foundation of another 
church state, and the means of its continuance. If, there- 
fore, we have any interest in the gospel itself, or desire to 
have ; if we have either part or lot in this matter, or desire 
to be made partakers of the benefits which attend thereon, 
which are no less than our acceptation with God here, and 
our salvation hereafter ; it is our duty to search the Scrip- 
tures, and inquire diligently into these things. And let no 
man deceive us with vain words, as though the things spoken 
concerning the Spirit of God, and his work towards them 
that do believe, are fanatical and unintelligible by rational 
men ; for, because of this contempt of him, the wrath of God 
will come on the children of disobedience. And if the 


' world in wisdom/ and their reason, know him not, nor ' can 
receive him,' yet they who believe do know him, for 'he 
dwelleth with them and shall be in them ;' John xiv. 17. 
And the present practice of the world in despising and 
slighting the Spirit of God and his work, gives light and 
evidence unto those words of our Saviour, ' that the world 
cannot receive him/ And it cannot do so, because it ' neither 
seeth him nor knoweth him ;' or hath no experience of his 
work in them, or of his power and grace. Accordingly doth 
it, — it is come to pass. Wherefore, not to avow the Spirit of 
God in his work, is to be ashamed of the gospel, and of the 
promise of Christ, as if it were a thing not to be owned in 
the world. 

2. The ministry of the gospel, whereby we are begotten 
again, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures 
unto God, is from his promised presence with it, and work 
in it, called the ministry of the Spirit, even of the Spirit 
that giveth life ; 2 Cor. iii. 6. And it is so in opposition to 
the 'ministration of the law,' wherein yet there were a multi- 
tude" of ordinances of worship and glorious ceremonies. 
And he who knows no more of the ministry of the gospel, 
but what consists in an attendance unto the letter of insti- 
tutions, and the manner of their performance, knows nothing 
of it. Nor yet is there any extraordinary afflatus, or inspi- 
ration, now intended or attended unto, as we are slander- 
ously reported, and assome affirm tha twe pretend. But 
there is that presence of the Spirit of God with the ministry 
of the gospel, in his authority, assistance, communication of 
gifts and abilities, guidance, and direction, as without which 
it will be useless and unprofitable in and unto all that take 
the work thereof upon them. This will be more fully de- 
clared afterward. For, 

3. The promise and gift of the Spirit under the gospel, 
is not made nor granted unto any peculiar sort of persons 
only, but unto all believers, as their conditions and occa- 
sions do require. They are not, therefore, the especial in- 
terest of a few, but the common concern of all Christians. 
The Papists grant, that this promise is continued ; but they 
would confine it to their pope or their councils, things no 
where mentioned in the Scripture, nor the object of any one 
gospel promise whatever. It is all believers in their places 


and stations, churches in their order, and ministers in their 
office, unto whom the promise of him is made, and towards 
whom it is accomplished, as shall be shewn. Others also 
grant the continuance of this gift, but understand no more 
by it, but an ordinary blessing upon men's rational endea- 
vours, common and exposed unto all alike. This is no less 
than to overthrow his whole work, to take his sovereignty 
out of his hand, and to deprive the church of all especial 
interest in the promise of Christ concerning him. In this 
inquiry, therefore, we look after what at present belongs 
unto ourselves, if so be we are disciples of Christ, and do 
expect the fulfilling of his promises. For, whatever men 
may pretend, unto this day, ' if they have not the Spirit of 
Christ, they are none of his ;' Rom. viii. 9. For our Lord 
Jesus Christ hath promised him as a Comforter, to abide with 
his disciples for ever ; John xiv. And by him it is, that he 
is present with them, and among them, to the end of the 
world ; Matt, xxviii. 20. xviii. 20. That we speak not as 
yet of his sanctifying work, whereby we are enabled to be- 
lieve, and are made partakers of that holiness without 
which no man shall see God. Wherefore, without him all 
religion is but a body without a soul, a carcass without an 
animating spirit. It is true, in the continuation of his work 
he ceaseth from putting* forth those extraordinary effects of 
his power, which were needful for the laying the foundation 
of the church in the world. But the whole work of his 
grace, according to the promise of the covenant, is no less 
truly and really carried on at this day, in and towards all 
the elect of God, than it was on the day of Pentecost, and 
onwards ; and so is his communication of gifts necessary for 
the edification of the church; Eph. iv. 10 — 13. The own- 
ing, therefore, and avowing the work of the Holy Ghost in 
the hearts and on the minds of men, according to the tenor 
of the covenant of grace, is the principal part of that pro- 
fession, which at this day all believers are called unto. 

4. We are taught, in an especial manner, to pray that God 
would give his Holy Spirit unto us, that through his aid and 
assistance, we may live unto God in that holy obedience 
which he requires at our hands; Luke xi. 9 — 13. Our Sa- 
viour enjoining an importunity in our supplications, ver. 
9, 10. and giving us encouragement that we shall succeed in 


our requests, ver. 11, 12. makes the subject matter of them 
to be the Holy Spirit ; ( Your heavenly Father shall give 
the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ;' ver. 13. Which in 
the other evangelists, is ' good things/ Matt, vii.ll. because 
he is the author of them all in us and to us ; nor doth God 
bestow any good thing on us, but by his Spirit. Hence the 
promise of bestowing the Spirit, is accompanied with a pre- 
scription of duty unto us, that we should ask him, or pray 
for him ; which is included in every promise where his 
sending, giving, or bestowing, is mentioned. He, therefore, 
is the great subject matter of all our prayers. And that sig- 
nal promise of our blessed Saviour, to send him as a Com- 
forter to abide with us forever, is a directory for the prayers 
of the church in all generations. Nor is there any church 
in the world fallen under such a total' degeneracy, but that 
in their public offices there are testimonies of their ancient 
faith and practice in praying for the coming of the Spirit 
unto them, according to this promise of Christ. And, there- 
fore, our apostle, in all his most solemn prayers for the 
churches in his days, makes this the chief petition of them, 
That God would give unto them, and increase in them, the 
gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, with the Spirit himself 
for sundry especial effects and operations whereof they 
stood in need; Eph. i. 17. iii. 16. Col. ii. 2. And this is 
a full conviction of what importance the consideration of the 
Spirit of God and his work is unto us. We must deal in 
this matter with that confidence which the truth instructs 
us unto, and therefore say, That he who prayeth not con- 
stantly and diligently for the Spirit of God, that he may be 
made partaker of him for the ends for which he is promised, 
is a stranger from Christ and his gospel. This we are to 
attend unto, as that whereon our eternal happiness doth de- 
pend. God knows our state and condition, and we may bet- 
ter learn our wants from his prescription of what we ought 
to pray for, than from our sense and experience. For we 
are in the dark unto our own spiritual concerns, through the 
power of our corruptions and temptations, and ' know not 
what we should pray for as we ought;' Rom. viii. 26. But 
our heavenly Father knows perfectly what we stand in need 
of. And, therefore, whatever be our present apprehensions 
concerning ourselves which are to be examined by the word, 


our prayers are to be regulated by what God hath enjoined 
us to ask, and what he hath promised for to bestow. 

5. What was before mentioned, may here be called over 
again and farther improved, yea it is necessary that so it 
should be. This is the solemn promise of Jesus Christ, when 
he was to leave this world by death. And whereas he 
therein made and confirmed his testament; Heb. ix. 15 — 
17. ' He bequeathed his Spirit as his great legacy unto his 
disciples.' And this he gave unto them as the great pledge of 
their future inheritance, 2 Cor. i. 22. which they were to live 
upon in this world. All other good things he hath indeed be- 
queathed unto believers, as he speaks of peace with God in 
particular. ' Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto 
you ;' John xiv. 27. But he gives particular graces and mer- 
cies for particular ends and purposes. The Holy Spirit he 
bequeaths to supply his own absence ; John xvi. 17. that is, 
for all the ends of spiritual and eternal life. Let us, therefore, 
consider this gift of the Spirit either formally, under this 
notion that he was the principal legacy left unto the church 
by our dying Saviour; or materially, as to the ends and pur- 
poses for which he is so bequeathed, and it will be evident 
what valuation we ought to have of him and his work. How 
would some rejoice* if they could possess any relic of any 
thing that belonged unto our Saviour in the days of his 
flesh, though of no use or benefit unto them ? Yea, how 
great a part of men, called Christians, do boast in some pre- 
tended parcels of the tree whereon he suffered. Love abused 
by superstition lies at the bottom of this vanity. For they 
would embrace any thing left them by their dying Saviour. 
But he left them no such things, nor did ever bless and 
sanctify them unto any holy or sacred ends. And there- 
fore, hath the abuse of them been punished with blindness 
and idolatry. But this is openly testified unto in the gos- 
pel, then when his heart was overflowing with love unto his 
disciples, and care for them, when he took a holy prospect 
of what would be their condition, their work, duty, and 
temptations in the world, and thereon made provision of all 
that they could stand in need of; he promisethto leave and 
give unto them his Holy Spirit to abide with them for ever, 
directing us to look unto him for all our comforts and sup- 
plies. According, therefore, unto our valuation and esteem 
of him, of our satisfaction and acquiescency in him, is our 


regard to the love, care, and wisdom of our blessed Saviour 
to be measured. And, indeed, it is only in his word and 
Spirit wherein we can either honour or despise him in this 
world. In his own person he is exalted at the right hand of 
God, far above all principalities and powers ; so that nothing 
of ours can immediately reach him or affect him. But it is 
in our regard to these that he makes a trial of our faith, 
love, and obedience. And it is a matter of lamentation to 
consider the contempt and scorn that on various pretences 
is cast upon this Holy Spirit, and the work whereunto he is 
sent by God the Father and by Jesus Christ. For there is 
included therein a contempt of them also. Nor will a pre- 
tence of honouring God in their own way secure such per- 
sons as shall contract the guilt of this abomination. For it 
is an idol, and not the God and Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, who doth not work effectually in the elect by the 
Holy Ghost, according to the Scriptures. And if we consi- 
der this promise of the Spirit to be given unto us as to the 
ends of it; then, 

6. He is promised and given as the sole cause and author 
of all the good that, in this 3 world, we are or can be made par- 
takers of. For, 1. there is no good communicated unto us 
from God, but it is bestowed on us or wrought in us by the 
Holy Ghost. No gift, no grace, no mercy, no privilege, no 
consolation, do we receive, possess, or use, but it is wrought 
in us, collated on us, or manifested unto us, by him alone. 
Nor, 2. is there any good in us towards God, any faith, love, 
duty, obedience, but what is effectually wrought in us by 
him, by him alone. ' For in us, that is, in our flesh (and by 
nature we are but flesh), there dwelleth no good thing.' All 
these things are from him and by him, as shall, God assist- 
ing, be made to appear by instances of all sorts in our en- 
suing discourse. And these considerations I thought meet 
to premise unto our entrance into that work which now lieth 
before us. 

The great work whereby God designed to glorify himself 
ultimately in this world, was that of the new creation, or of 
the recovery and restoration of all things by Jesus Christ; 
Heb. i. 1 — 3. Eph. i. 10. And as this is, in general, con- 
fessed by all Christians, so I have elsewhere insisted on the 

a Gratias ago tibi clementissime Deus, quia quod qusesivi mane prior ipse donasti. 
Cypri. de Baptism. Christi. 


demonstration of it. 2. That which God ordereth and de- 
signeth as the principal means for the manifestation of his 
glory, must contain the most perfect and absolute revelation 
and declaration of himself, his nature, his being, his exist- 
ence, and excellencies. For from their discovery and mani- 
festation, with the duties which as known they require from 
rational creatures, doth the glory of God arise, and no other- 
wise. 3. This, therefore, was to be done in this great work, 
and it was done accordingly. Hence is the Lord Christ in 
his work of mediation said to be the 'image of the invisible 
God;' Col. i. 15. 'The brightness of his glory, and the ex- 
press image of his person ;' Heb. i. 3. in whose ' face the know- 
ledge of the glory of God shineth forth unto us ;' 2 Cor. iv. 6. 
Because in and by him in his work of the new creation, all 
the glorious properties of the nature of God are manifested 
and displayed incomparably above what they were in the 
creation of all things in the beginning. I say therefore, in 
the contrivance, projection, production, carrying on, disposal, 
and accomplishment of this great work, God hath made the 
most eminent and glorious discovery of himself unto angels 
and men; Eph. iii. 8 — 10. 1 Pet. i. 10 — 12. That we may 
know, love, trust, honour, and obey him in all things as God, 
and according to his will. 4. In particular, in this new 
creation, he hath revealed himself in an especial manner as 
three in one. There was no one more glorious mystery 
brought to light in and by Jesus Christ than that of the 
Holy Trinity, or the subsistence of the three persons in the 
unity of the same divine nature. And this was done not so 
much in express propositions or verbal testimonies unto that 
purpose, which yet is done also, as by the declaration of 
the mutual, divine, internal acts of the persons towards one 
another, and the distinct, immediate, divine, external actings 
of each person in the work which they did and do perform. 
For God revealeth not himself unto us merely doctrinally 
and dogmatically, but by the declaration of what he doth for 
us, in us, towards us, in the accomplishment of the counsel 
of his will; see Eph. i. 4 — 12. And this revelation is 
made unto us, not that our minds might be possessed with 
the notions of it, but that we may know aright how to place 
our trust in him, how to obey him, and live unto him, how 
to obtain and exercise communion with him, until we come 
to the enjoyment of him. 


We may make application of these things unto, and ex- 
emplify them yet farther in, the work under consideration. 
Three things, in general, are in it proposed unto our faith. 

1. The supreme purpose, design, contrivance, and disposal of it. 

2. The purchasing and procuring cause and means of the 
effects of that design; with its accomplishment in itself, and 
with respect unto God. 3. The application of the supreme 
design and actual accomplishment of it to make it effectual 
unto us. The first of these is absolutely in the Scripture 
assigned unto the Father, and that uniformly and every 
where. His will, his counsel, his love, his grace, his au- 
thority, his purpose, his design, are constantly proposed as 
the foundation of the whole work, as those which were to be 
pursued, effected, accomplished; see Isa. xlii. 1 — 3. Psal. 
xl. 6—8. John iii. 16. Isa. liii. 10—12. Eph. i. 4—10. and 
other places innumerable. And on this account, because the 
Son undertook to effect whatever the Father had so designed 
and purposed, there were many acts of the will of the Father 
towards the Son in sending, giving, appointing of him; in 
preparing him a body; in comforting and supporting him; in 
rewarding and giving a people unto him which belong unto 
the Father, on the account of the authority, love, and wisdom, 
that were in them, their actual operation belonging particu- 
larly unto another person. And in these things is the person 
of the Father in the divine being proposed unto us to be 
known and adored. Secondly, The Son condescendeth, 
consenteth, and engageth, to do and accomplish in his own 
person, the whole work which, in the authority, counsel, and 
wisdom of the Father, was appointed for him; Phil. ii. 5 — 8. 
Arid in these divine operations is the person of the Son re- 
vealed unto us to be ' honoured even as we honour the Father/ 
Thirdly, The Holy Ghost doth immediately work and effect 
whatever was to be done in reference unto the person of the 
Son, or the sons of men, for the perfecting and accomplish- 
ment of the Father's counsel, and the Son's work, in an es- 
pecial application of both unto their especial effects and 
ends. Hereby is he made known unto us, and hereby our 
faith concerning: him and in him is directed. And thus, in 
this great work of the new creation by Jesus Christ, doth God 
cause all his glory to pass before us, that we may both know 
him and worship him in a due manner. And what is the pe- 
culiar work of the Holy Ghost herein we shall now declare. 







The especial works of the Holy Spirit in the new creation. His work on 
the human nature of Christ. How this work could be considering the 
■union of the human nature unto, and in, the person of the Soil of God. 
Assumption of the human nature into union, the only act of the person of 
the Son towards it. Personal union the only necessary consequent of this 
assumption. All other actings of the person of the Son in and on the 
human nature voluntary. The Holy Spirit the immediate efficient cause 
of all divine operations. He is the Spirit of the Son or of the Father. 
How all the works of the Trinity are undivided. The body of Christ 
formed in the womb by the Holy Ghost ; but of the substance of the blessed 
Virgin ; why this was necessary. Christ not hence the S071 of the Holy 
Ghost according to the human nature. Difference between the assumption 
of the human nature by the Son, and the creation of it by the Holy Ghost. 
The conception of Christ, how ascribed to the Holy Ghost, and how to the 
blessed Virgin. Reasons of the espousal of the blessed Virgin to Joseph 
before the concept on of Christ. The actual purity and holiness of the 
soul and body of Christ from his miraculous conception. 

The dispensation and work of the Holy Ghost, in this new 
creation ; respect, first, The Head of the church, the Lord Jesus 
Christ in his human nature, as it was to be, and was, united 
unto the person of the Son of God. Secondly, It concerns 
the members of that mystical body in all that belongs unto 
them as such. And under these two heads we shall consider 

First, Therefore we are to inquire, what are the operations 
of the Holy Ghost in reference unto Jesus Christ the Head oj 
the church. And these were of two sorts. 

i. Such as whereof the person of Chrht in his human na- 
ture was the immediate object. 



ii. Such as he performs towards others on his behalf; 
that is, with direct respect unto his person and office. 

But yet, before we enter upon the first sort of his works 
which we shall begin withal, an objection of seeming weight 
and difficulty must be removed out of our way, which I shall 
the rather do, because our answer unto it will make the whole 
matter treated of the more plain and familiar unto us. It 
may therefore be, and it is, objected, that whereas the human 
nature of Christ is assigned as the immediate object of these 
operations of the Holy Ghost, and that nature was immedi- 
ately, inseparably, and undividedly, united unto the person 
of the Son of God, there doth not seem to be any need, nor 
indeed room, for any such operations of the Spirit. For 
could not the Son of God himself, in his own person, per- 
form all things requisite both for the forming, supporting, 
sanctifying, and preserving, of his own nature, without the 
especial assistance of the Holy Ghost? Nor is it easy to be 
understoodhow an immediate work of the Holy Ghost should 
be interposed in the same person, between the one nature 
and the other. And this seeming difficulty is vehemently 
pressed by the Socinians, who think to entangle our whole 
doctrine of the blessed Trinity, and incarnation of the Son 
of God thereby. But express testimonies of Scripture, with 
the clear and evident analogy of faith, will carry us easily 
and safely through this seeming difficulty. To which end 
we may observe ; that, 

1. The only singular immediate act of the person of the 
Son on the human nature, was the assumption of it into sub- 
sistence with himself. Herein the Father and the Spirit had 
no interest nor concurrence, d ju?) kclt tvdoiciav kcu fiovXemv, 
' but by approbation and consent/ as Damascen ^speaks. 
For the Father did not assume the human nature ; he was 
not incarnate ; neither did the Holy Spirit do so. But this 
was the peculiar act, and work of the Son. See John i. 14. 
Rom. i. 4. Gal. iv. 4. Phil. ii. 6, 7. Heb. ii. 14. 17. which 
places, with many others to the same purpose, I have else- 
where expounded, and vindicated from the exceptions of the 

2. That the only necessary consequent of this assumption 
of the human nature, or the incarnation of the Son of God, 
is the personal union of Christ, or the inseparable subsistence 


of the assumed nature in the person of the Son. This was 
necessary and indissoluble, so that it was not impeached, 
nor shaken in the least, by the temporary dissolution of that 
nature by the separation of the soul and body. For the 
union of the soul and body in Christ did not constitute him 
a person, that the dissolution of them should destroy his 
personality : but he was a person by the uniting of both 
unto the Son of God. 

3. That all other actings of God in the person of the Son 
towards the human nature were voluntary, and did not ne- 
cessarily ensue on the union mentioned. For there was no 
transfusion of the properties of one nature into the other, 
nor real physical communication of divine essential excel- 
lencies unto the humanity. Those who seem to contend for 
any such thing, resolve all at last into a true assignation by 
way of predication, as necessary on the union mentioned, 
but contend not for a real transfusion of the properties of 
one nature into the other. But these communications were 
voluntary. Hence were those temporary dispensations, 
when, under his great trial, the human nature complained of 
its desertion and dereliction by the divine; Matt, xxvii. 46. 
For this forsaking was not as to personal union, or necessary 
subsistence and supportment, but as to voluntary communi- 
cations of light and consolation. Hence himself declares, 
that the human nature was not the residential subject of 
omnisciency. For so he speaks, Mark xiii. 32. ' But of that 
day and that hour knoweth no man, no, nor the angels which 
are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.' For the 
exposition given by some of the ancients, that the Lord 
Christ speaks not this absolutely, but only, 'that he knew 
it not to declare it unto them/ is unworthy of him. For no 
more did the Father so know it, seeing he hath not declared 
it. But this was the opinion only of some of them, the more 
advised were otherwise minded. He b speaks of himself with 

b A^Xov ifl-Tiv oti xal rhv Tou iravriq teXouj Sigav, aiq f*h \oyos ytvt&trxei; ij $£ av&fajffof 
ayvosi. 'AvSpznrov ya% <Stov to ayvotiv, xal y.i.'Kis-ra raZ-ra. AWa Xcti touto t?? <pi\av- 
Spawi'a? "Siov toD irannpot;. 'EtteiIV) yap yiywvi avSpajTrof , ohx eotus-^uvEto $ia T«v cagxa T»iw 
<xyvoouo-av£itET£~v, ovk olSa. "iva liity o'tj EiS»; if &eo?, ayvoiT <ragxiJt5j. Allianas. Oral. 
4, Ad. Arian. 

'Ayvoei toivi/v wt» to o-%nfA,a. t!j? a&pw&iTDTot; , o yivtiirxaiv t<* tffavTa Kara tSv Suva^uv 
Ttij &eot>!toj. Chrysostom. Tom. 7. Serm. 117. 

nx>jv io-T£ov, otj oi ttoXXoi tvv TTttTEpwv, stj^eSov $e waVTE?, <f ai'voVTai XEyovTE? alrov ayvotiv. 
Ei yap Kara nana "Kiyirai hfMV o/uooucnoc, ayvovfAiv it xat h[*i"(, SiXov in xal avrof 
iyfisi. Leontius By^zantinus, de Sectis. 

N 2 


respect unto his human nature only. And thereunto, all 
communications were voluntary. So after his ascension, 
God gave him that revelation that he made to the apostle ; 
Rev. i. 1. The human nature, therefore, however inconceiv- 
ably advanced, is not the subject of infinite essentially di- 
vine properties. And the actings of the Son of God towards 
it, consequential unto its assumption, and that indissoluble 
subsistence in its union which ensued thereon, are voluntary. 

4. The Holy Ghost, as we have proved before, is the im- 
mediate, peculiar, efficient cause of all external divine operations ; 
for God worketh by his Spirit ; or in him immediately ap- 
plies the power and efficacy of the divine excellencies unto 
their operation ; whence the same work is equally the work 
of each person. 

5. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Son, no less than 
the Spirit of the Father. He proceedeth from the Son, as 
from the Father. He is the ' Spirit of the Son ;' Gal. iv. 6. 
And hence is he the immediate operator of all divine acts of 
the Son himself, even on his own human nature. Whatever 
the Son of God wrought in, by, or upon, the human nature, 
he did it by the Holy Ghost, who is his Spirit, as he is the 
Spirit of the Father. 

6. To clear the whole matter, it must be yet farther ob- 
served, that the immediate actings of the Holy Ghost are not 
spoken of him absolutely, nor ascribed unto him exclusively, 
as unto the other persons, and their concurrence in them. 
It is a saying generally admitted, that Opera Trinitatis ad 
extra sunt indivisa. There is no such division in the external 
operations of God, that any one of them should be the act 
of one person without the concurrence of the others. And 
the reason of it is, because the nature of God, which is the 
principle of all divine operations, is one and the same undi- 
vided in them all. Whereas, therefore, they are the effects 
of divine power, and that power is essentially the same in 
each person, the works themselves belong equally unto them. 
As if it were possible that three men might see by the same 
eye, the act of seeing would be but one, and it would be 
equally the act of all three. But the things we insist on are 
ascribed eminently unto the Holy Ghost, on the account of 
the order of his subsistence in the holy Trinity, as he is the 
Spirit of the Father and the Son ; whence in every divine 


act, the authority of the Father, the love and wisdom of the 
Son, with the immediate efficacy and power of the Holy 
Ghost, are to be considered. Yea, and there is such a dis- 
tinction in their operations, that one divine act may produce 
a peculiar respect and relation unto one person, and not unto 
another ; as the assumption of the human nature did to the 
Son, for he only was incarnate. And such are the especial 
actings of the Holy Ghost towards the head of the church, 
our Lord Jesus Christ, in this work of the new creation, as 
we shall demonstrate in sundry instances. 

First, The framing, forming, and miraculous conception of 
the body of Christ in the b womb of the blessed Virgin, was the 
peculiar and especial work of the Holy Ghost. This work 
I acknowledge, in respect of designation, and the authorita- 
tive disposal of things, is ascribed unto the Father. For so 
the Lord Christ speaketh unto him ; ' A body hast thou 
prepared me;' Heb. x. 6. But this preparation does not 
signify the actual forming and making ready of that body, 
but the eternal designation of it; it was prepared in the 
counsel and love of the Father. As to voluntary as- 
sumption, it is ascribed Jo the Son himself; Heb. ii. 14. 
' Forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and 
blood, he also himself partook of the same ;' he took upon 
him a body and soul, entire human nature, as the children, 
or all believers, have the same, synecdochically expressed 
by flesh and blood ; ver. 16. ' He took on him the seed of 
Abraham.' But the immediate divine efficiency in this mat- 
ter, was the peculiar work of the Holy Ghost; Matt. i. 18. 
' When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before 
they came together she was found to be with child of the 
Holy Ghost;' ver. 20. ' That which is conceived in her is of 
the Holy Ghost ;' Luke i. 35. ' The angel answered, and 
said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and 
the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee ; therefore, 
also, that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be 
called the Son of God.' 1. The person working is the Holy 

b Maximum in tota creatura testimonium de divinitate Spiritus Sancti corpus 
Domini est; quod ex Spiritu Sancto esse creditur secundum evangelistam, Matt. i. 
sicut angelus ad Josephum dicit, quod in ea natum est de Spiritu Sancto est. Atha- 
nasius de fid. Un. et Trin. 

Cieatrix virtus altissimi, superveniente Spiritu Sancto in virginem Mariam, Christi 
corpus fabricavit ; quo ille usus templo sine viri natus est semine. Didvm. de Sp. 
Sanct. lib. 2. 


Ghost. He is the wonderful operator in this glorious work ; 
and therein the power of the Most High was exerted. For 
the power of the Most High is neither explicatory of the for- 
mer expression, the Holy Ghost, as though he were only the 
power of the Most High ; nor is it the adjoining of a distinct 
agent or cause unto him, as though the Holy Ghost and the 
power of the Most High were different agents in this matter. 
Only the manner of his effecting this wonderful matter con- 
cerning which the blessed Virgin had made that inquiry, 
ver. 34. ' How can this be, seeing I know not a man?' is ex- 
pressed. The Holy Ghost, saith the angel, acting 'the power 
of the Most High/ or in the infinite power of God, shall ac- 
complish it. 2. For his access unto his work, it is expressed 
by his coming upon her. The importance of this expression 
and what is signified thereby, hath been declared before. 
And it is often used to declare his actings, with reference 
unto the production of miraculous works ; Acts i. 8. ' Ye 
shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you.' 
He will so come upon you, as to put forth the power of the 
Most High in you and by you, in gifts and operations mira- 
culous. For he is said to come, with respect unto his begin- 
ning of any marvellous operation, where before he did not 
work to the like purpose. 3. The act of the Holy Ghost in 
this matter was a creating act; not indeed like the first creat- 
ing act, which produced the matter and substance of all 
things out of nothing, causing that to be, which was not be- 
fore, neither in matter nor form, nor passive disposition ; but 
like those subsequent acts of creation, whereby out of mat- 
ter before made and prepared, things were made that which 
before they were not, and which of themselves they had no 
active disposition unto, nor concurrence in. So man was 
created or formed of the dust of the earth, and woman of a 
rib taken from man. There was a previous matter unto their 
creation, but such as gave no assistance, nor had any active 
disposition to the production of that particular kind of 
creature whereinto they were formed by the creating power 
of God. Such was this act of the Holy Ghost in forming the 
body of our Lord Jesus Christ. For although it was effected 
by an act of infinite creating power, yet it was formed or 
made of the substance of the blessed Virgin. That it should 
be so was absolutely necessary ; (1.) For the accomplishment 



of the promises made unto Abraham and David, that the 
Messiah should be of their seed, and proceed from their 
loins. (2.) So was it also on the account of the first original 
promise, that the ' seed of the woman should break the ser- 
pent's head.' For the Word was to be ' made flesh;' John i. 
14. to be ' made of a woman ;' Gal. iv. 4. or made of the seed 
of David according to the flesh ; Rom. i. 4. and take upon 
him the seed of Abraham ; Heb. ii. 16. (3.) To confirm the 
truth hereof is his genealogy according to the flesh, given 
us by two of the evangelists, which were neither to the pur- 
pose nor true, if he were not made of the substance or flesh 
of the blessed Virgin. (4.) Besides, all our cognation and 
alliance unto him, whence he was meet to be our Saviour, 
suffering in the same nature wherein we have sinned, do de- 
pend hereon ; Heb. ii. 14. For if he had not been made like 
us in all things, sin only excepted, if he had not been par- 
taker of our nature, there had been no foundation for the 
imputing that unto us, which he did, suffered, and wrought; 
Rom. viii.3. And hence these things are accounted unto us, 
and cannot be so unto angels whose nature he did not take 
upon him; Heb. ii. 16. This, therefore, was the work of the 
Holy Ghost, in reference unto the human nature of Christ 
in the womb of his mother. By his omnipotent power he 
formed it of the substance of the body of the holy Virgin, 
that is, as unto his body. And hence sundry things do 

1 . That the Lord Christ could not on this account, no, 
not with respect unto his human nature only, be said to be 
the Son of the Holy Ghost, although he supplied the place and 
virtue of a natural father in generation. For the relation of 
filiation dependeth only on, and ariseth from, a perfect gene- 
ration, and not on every effect of an efficient cause. When 
one fire is kindled by another, we do not say that it is the 
son of that other, unless it be very improperly. Much less 
when a man builds a house, do we say that it is his son. 
There was, therefore, no other relation between the person 
of the Holy Ghost and the human nature of Christ, but that 
of a creator and a creature. And the Lord Christ is, and is 
called, the Son of God, with respect only unto the Father 
and his eternal ineffable generation, communicating being 
and subsistence unto him, as the fountain and original of 


the Trinity. Filiation, therefore, is a personal adjunct, and 
belongs unto Christ as he was a divine person, and not with 
respect unto his human nature. But that nature being as- 
sumed, whole Christ was the Son of God. 

2. That this act of the Holy Ghost, informing of the body 
of Christ, differs from the act of the Son, in assuming the 
human nature into personal union with himself. For this 
act of the Son was not a creating act, producing a being out 
of nothing ; or making any thing by the same power to be, 
what in its own nature it was not. But it was an ineffable 
act of love and wisdom, taking the nature so formed by the 
Holy Ghost, so prepared for him, to be his own, in the in- 
stant of its formation, and thereby preventing the singular 
and individual subsistence of that nature, in and by itself. 
So then, as the creating act of the Holy Ghost, in forming 
the body of our Lord Jesus Christ in the womb, doth not 
denominate him to be his father, no, not according to the 
human nature, but he is the Son of God upon the account 
of his eternal generation only ; so it doth not denote an as- 
sumption of that nature into union with himself, nor was he 
incarnate. He made the human nature of Christ, body and 
soul, with, in, and unto, a subsistence in the second person 
of the Trinity, not his own. 

3. It hence also follows, that the conception of Christ 
in the womb, being the effect of a creating act, was not ac- 
complished successively , and in process of time, but was per- 
fected in an instant". For although the creating acts of in- 
finite power, where the works effected have distinct parts, 
may have a process or duration of time allotted unto them, 
as the world was created in six days ; yet every part of it that 
was the object of an especial creating act was instanta- 
neously produced. So was the forming of the body of Christ, 
with the infusion of a rational soul to quicken it, though it 
increased afterwards in the womb unto the birth. And, as 
it is probable that this conception was immediate upon the 
angelical salutation, so it was necessary that nothing of the 
human nature of Christ should exist of itself, antecedently 
unto its union with the Son of God. For in the very instant 

c E? tic Xevei TTgSJTOV m&rXaaSai to &Z//.a. tqv Hvgiov hfxZv \ntroZ Xpia-rov Iv tn (AriTga. 
T>)C kyiaq Trap&Evou, xai jUETa reZra. £x»&«va« avrS to* ©eov Xo'yov, kcu tw 4"^" ^ ^C^' 
nagaa-av, ava^ifxa. hrtm. Concil. Conbtantinop. ad Origenistas. 


of its formation, and therein, was the ' Word made flesh ;' 
John i. 14. And the Son of God 'was made of a woman;' 
Gal. iv. 4. So that the whole essence of his nature was cre- 
ated in the same instant. Thus far the Scriptures go before, 
and herein it is necessary to assert, the forming of the body 
and soul of Christ by the Holy Spirit. The curious inqui- 
ries of some of the schoolmen and others, are to be left unto 
themselves, or rather to be condemned in them. For what 
was farther in this miraculous operation of the Holy Ghost, 
it seems purposely to be hid from us in that expression, 
$vva[iiQ vipivTOV iiriaKLaaeL aoi, 'The power of the Most High 
shall overshadow thee.' Under the secret glorious covert 
hereof, we may learn to adore that holy work here, which 
we hope to rejoice in, and bless God for, unto eternity. 
And I suppose, also, that there is in the word, an allusion 
unto the expression of the original acting of the Holy Spirit, 
towards the newly produced mass of the old creation, whereof 
we spake before. Then it is said of him, that he was nsniD, 
as it were ' hovering' and moving over it for the formation and 
production of all things living. For both the words include 
in them an allusion unto a covering like that of a fowl over 
its eggs, communicating, by its cognate warmth and heat, a 
principle of life unto their seminal virtue. 

It remaineth only that we consider how the same work, 
of the conceptio7i .of Christ, is assigned unto the Holy Ghost, 
and to the blessed Virgin. For of her it is said expressly 
in prophecy, mn TOVyn, Isa. vii. 14. 'A virgin shall conceive ;' 
the same word that is used to express the conception of any 
other woman; Gen. iv. 1. Hence she is termed by the an- 
cients 0eoroKoc, and Dei genet rix, which last, at least, I 
wish had been forborne. Compare it with the Scripture, and 
there will appear an unwarrantable Kaii>o<p(ovia in it. So 
Luke i. 31. The words of the angel to her are, avWi'iipti Iv 
yao-rpi, Kai rl^rj vlov, ' Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and 
bring forth a son ;' where her conception of him is distin- 
guished from her bringing of him forth. And yet in the an- 
cient creed, commonly called the Apostles', and generally 
received by all Christians as a summary of religion, it is 
said, he ' was conceived by the Holy Spirit,' and only ' born 
of the Virgin Mary.' Ans. The same work is assigned to 
both, as causes of a different kind, unto the Holy Spirit as 


the active efficient cause, who, by his Almighty power, pro- 
duced the effect. And the disputes managed by some of 
the ancients, about ' de Spiritu Sancto,' and ' ex Spiritu 
Sancto,' were altogether needless. For it is his creating 
efficiency that is intended. And his conceiving is ascribed 
unto the holy Virgin as the passive material cause; for his 
body was formed of her substance, as was before declared. 
And this conception of Christ was after her solemn espou- 
sals unto Joseph, and that for sundry reasons. For, 1. 
under the covering of her marriage to him, she was to receive 
a protection of her spotless innocency. And besides, 2. 
God provided one that should take care of her and her child 
in his infancy. And hereby, 3. also, was our blessed Sa- 
viour freed from the imputation of an illegitimate birth ; 
until, by his own miraculous operations, he should give tes- 
timony unto his miraculous conception, concerning which 
before his mother could not have been believed. 4. That 
he might have one on whose account his genealogy might 
be recorded, to manifest the accomplishment of the promise 
unto Abraham and David. For the line of a genealogy was 
not legally continued by the mother only. Hence Matthew 
gives us his genealogy by Joseph, to whom his mother was 
legally espoused ; and although Luke gives us the true na- 
tural line of his descent, by the progenitors of the blessed 
Virgin, yet he nameth her not; only mentioning her espou- 
sals, he begins with Heli, who was her father; chap. iii. 23. 
And this is the first thing ascribed peculiarly to the Holy 
Spirit, with respect unto the head of the church, Christ Jesus. 
From this miraculous creation of the body of Christ by the 
immediate power of the Holy Ghost, did it become a meet 
habitation for his holy soul, every way ready and complying 
with all actings of grace and virtue. We have not only the 
depravation of our natures in general, but the obliquity of our 
particular constitutions, to conflict withal. Hence it is that 
one is disposed to passion, wrath, and anger, another to va- 
nity and lightness, a third to sensuality and fleshly pleasures, 
and so others to sloth and idleness. And although this dis- 
position, so far as it is the result of our especial constitutions 
and complexion, is not sin in itself, yet it dwells at the next 
door unto it, and, as it is excited by the moral pravity of our 
natures, a continual occasion of it. But the body of Christ, 


being formed pure and exact by the Holy Ghost, there was 
no disposition or tendency in his constitution to the least 
deviation from perfect holiness in any kind. The exquisite 
harmony of his natural temperature, made love, meekness, 
gentleness, patience, benignity, and goodness, natural and 
cognate unto him, as having an incapacity of such motions 
as should be subservient unto, or compliant with, any thing 
different from them. Hence, 2dly, also ; although he took 
on him those infirmities, which belong unto our human na- 
ture as such, and are inseparable from it until it be glorified, 
yet he took none of our particular infirmities, which cleave 
unto our persons, occasioned either by the vice of our con- 
stitutions, or irregularity in the use of our bodies. Those 
natural passions of our minds, which are capable of being 
the means of affliction and trouble, as grief, sorrow, and the 
like, he took upon him ; as also those infirmities of nature, 
which are troublesome to the body, as hunger, thirst, weari- 
ness, and pain. Yea, the purity of his holy constitution made 
him more highly sensible of these things, than any of the 
children of men. But as to our bodily diseases, and distem- 
pers which personally adhere unto us, upon the disorder and 
vice of our constitutions, he was absolutely free from. 





The actual sanctification of the human nature of Christ by the Holy Ghost. 
On what ground spotless and free from sin. Positively endowed with all 
grace. Original holiness and sanctification injChrist, how carried on by 
the Spirit. Exercise of grace in Christ by the rational faculties of his soul. 
Their improvement. Wisdom and knowledge, how increased objectively in 
the human nature of Christ. The anointing of Christ by the Holy Spirit 
with power and gifts. Collated eminently on him at his baptism. John 
iii. 34. explained and vindicated. Miraculous works wrought in Christ by 
the Holy Ghost. Christ guided, conducted, and supported, by the Spirit in 
his whole work. Marki. 11. opened. How the Lord Christ offered him- 
self unto God through the eternal Spirit. His sanctification thereunto. 
Graces acting eminently therein. Love, zeal, submission, faith, and truth, 
all exercised therein. The work of the Spirit of God towards Christ whilst 
he was in the state of the dead; in his resurrection and glorification. The 
office of the Spirit to bear witness unto Christ and its discharge. The true 
way and means of coming unto the knowledge of Christ, with the necessity 
thereof. Danger of mistakes herein. What it is to love Christ as we ought. 

Secondly, The human nature of Christ being thus formed 
in the womb by a creating act of the Holy Spirit, was in the 
instant of its conception sanctified, and filled with grace ac- 
cording to the measure of its receptivity. Being not begot- 
ten by natural generation, it derived no taint of original sin 
or corruption from Adam, that being the only way and 
means of its propagation. And being not in the loins of 
Adam morally before the fall, the promise of his incarnation 
being not given until afterward, the sin of Adam could on 
no account be imputed unto him. All sin was charged on 
him as our mediator, and surety of the covenant ; but, on 
his own account, he was obnoxious to no charge of sin, ori- 
ginal or actual. His nature, therefore, as miraculously cre- 
ated in the manner described, was absolutely innocent, spot- 
less, and free from sin, as was Adam in the day wherein he 
was created. But this was not all ; it was by the Holy Spi- 


rit, positively endowed with all grace. And hereof it was 
afterward only capable of farther degrees as to actual ex- 
ercise, but not of any new kind of grace. And this work of 
sanctification, or the original infusion of all grace into the 
human nature of Christ, was the immediate work of the Holy 
Spirit which was necessary unto him. For let the natural 
faculties of the soul, the mind, will, and affections, be created 
pure, innocent, undefiled, as they cannot be otherwise im- 
mediately created of God, yet there is not enough to enable 
any rational creature to live to God ; much less was it all 
that was in Jesus Christ. There is, moreover, required here- 
unto, supernatural endowments of grace, superadded unto 
the natural faculties of our souls. If we live unto God, there 
must be a principle of spiritual life in us, as well of life na- 
tural. This was the image of God in Adam, and was wrought 
in Christ by the Holy Spirit. Isa. xi. 1 — 3. And 'there shall 
come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall 
grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest 
upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit 
of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the 
fear of the Lord ; and shall make him of quick understanding 
in the fear of the Lord.' It is granted, that the following 
work of the Spirit, in and upon the Lord Christ, in the ex- 
ecution of his office, as the king and head of the church, is 
included in these words. But his first sanctifying work in 
the womb is principally intended. For those expressions, 
' a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots,' 
with respect whereunto, the Spirit is said to be communi- 
cated unto him, do plainly regard his incarnation. And the 
soul of Christ, from the first moment of its infusion, was a 
subject capable of a fulness of grace, as unto its habitual 
residence and in-being, though the actual exercise of it was 
suspended for a while, until the organs of the body were 
fitted for it. This, therefore, it received by this first unction 
of the Spirit. Hence, from his conception, he was * holy,' 
as well as ' harmless' and ' undefiled ;' Heb. vii. 26. A ' holy 
thing;' Luke i. 35. radically filled with a perfection of grace 
and wisdom ; inasmuch, as the Father ' gave him not the 
Spirit by measure ;' John iii. 34. See to this purpose our 
commentary on Heb. i. 1. p. 17. see John i. 14 — 16. 

Thirdly, The Spirit carried on that work whose foundation 


it had thus laid. And two things are to be here diligently 
observed : 

1. That the Lord Christ as man, did and was to exercise 
all grace by the rational faculties and powers of his soul, 
his understanding, will, and affections. For he acted grace 
as a man, 'made of a woman, made under the law.' His 
divine nature was not unto him in the place of a soul, nor 
did immediately operate the things which he performed, as 
some of old vainly imagined. But being a perfect man, his 
rational soul was in him the immediate principle of all his 
moral operations, even as ours are in us. Now, in the im- 
provement and exercise of these faculties and powers of his 
soul, he had, and made, a progress after the manner of other 
men. For ' he was made like unto us in all things/ yet 
without sin. In their increase, enlargement, and exercise, 
there was required a progression in grace also. And this 
he had continually by the Holy Ghost ; Luke ii. 40. ' The 
child grew and waxed strong in spirit.' The first clause 
refers to his body, which grew and increased after the' man- 
ner of other men; as ver. 52. He 'increased in stature.' The 
other respects the confirmation of the faculties of his mind, 
he 'waxed strong in spirit.' So ver. 47. he is said to 'in- 
crease in wisdom as in stature 3 .' He was TrXripovfiEvog aorplag, 
continually ' filling and filled' with new degrees ' of wisdom' 
as to its exercise, according as the rational faculties of his 
mind were capable thereof; an increase in these things ac- 
companied his years ; ver. 52. And what is here recorded 
by the evangelist, contains a description of the accomplish- 
ments of the prophecy before mentioned ; Isa. xi. 1 — 3. 
And this growth in grace and wisdom was the peculiar work 
of the Holy Spirit. For as the faculties of his mind were 
enlarged by degrees and strengthened, so the Holy Spirit 
filled them up with grace for actual obedience. 

» Quomodo proficiebat sapientia Dei? doceat te ordo verborum. Profectus est 
setatis, profectus est sapientiae, sed humanae. Ideo setatem ante pramisit, ut secun- 
dum homines crederes dictum ; aetas enira non divinitatis sed corporis est. Er<*o si 
proficiebat aetate bominis proficiebat sapientia hominis. Sapientia autem sensu'pro- 
ficit, quia a sensu sapientia. Ambros. de Incarnat. Dom. Mysterio, chap. 7. 

Nam et dominus homo accepit communicationem Spiritus Sancti ; sicut in evan- 
geliislegitur; Jesus ergo repletus Spiritu Sancto, regressusest a Iordane. Hsec autem 
absque ulia calumnia de dominico homine, qui totus Christus, unus est Jesus Filius 
Dei, sensu debemus pietatis accipere, non quod alter et alter sit, sed quod de uno 
atqueeodem quasi de altero secundum naturam Dei, et hominis disputatur. Didvm. 
deSp. San. lib. 3. 


2. The human nature of Christ was capable of having 
new objects proposed to its mind and understanding-, whereof 
before it had a simple nescience. And this is an inseparable 
adjunct of human nature as such, as it is to be weary or 
hungry, and no vice or blamable defect. Some have made 
a great outcry about the ascribing of ignorance by some 
Protestant divines unto the human soul of Christ, ' Bellarm. 
de Anim. Christi.' Take ignorance for that which is a mo- 
ral defect in any kind, or an unacquaintedness with that 
which any one ought to know, or is necessary unto him as 
to the perfection of his condition or his duty, and it is false 
that ever any of them ascribed it unto him. Take it merely 
for a nescience of some things, and there is no more in it 
but a denial of infinite omniscience, nothing inconsistent 
with the highest holiness and purity of human nature. So 
the Lord Christ says of himself, that he ' knew not the day 
and hour of the end of all things ;' and our apostle of him, 
that he 'learned obedience by the things that he suffered ;' 
Heb. v. 8. In the representation then of things anew to the 
human nature of Christ, the wisdom and knowledge of it 
was objectively increased, and in new trials and temptations 
he experimentally learned the new exercise of grace. And 
this was the constant work of the Holy Spirit in the human 
nature of Christ. He dwelt in him in fulness, for he re- 
ceived him not by measure. And continually, upon all oc- 
casions, he gave out of his unsearchable treasures grace for 
exercise in all duties and instances of it. From hence was 
he habitually holy, and from hence did he exercise holiness 
entirely and universally in all things. 

Fourthly, The Holy Spirit, in a peculiar manner, anointed 
him with all those extraordinary powers and gifts which were 
necessary for the exercise and discharging of his office on 
the earth 6 . Isa. lxi. 1. ' The Spirit of the Lord God is upon 
me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good 
tidings unto the meek ; he hath sent me to bind up the 
broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the 
opening of the prison unto them that are bound.' It is the 
prophetical office of Christ and his discharge thereof in his 

"b Et toi'vuv h tragi; h tea-nonm, to KvgiaKW %\a<rfxa., o tyvo; avSgajwo?, o oifavioj, t« veov 
BXaa-r»fxa, to ana tm; few? oilws avSnrav, oSto; "hapBani to mivpa 'ayiov, &c. Chry- 
sost. Homil. de Spiritu Sancto. 


ministry on the earth which is intended. And he applies 
these words unto himself with respect unto his preaching of 
the gospel ; Luke iv. 18. For this was that office whiclvhe 
principally attended unto herein the world, as that whereby 
he instructed men in the nature and use of his other offices. 
For his kingly power in his human nature on the earth he 
exercised but sparingly. Thereunto indeed belonged his 
sending forth of apostles and evangelists to preach with au- 
thority. And towards the end of his ministry he instituted 
ordinances of gospel-worship, and appointed the order of his 
church in the foundation and building of it up, which were 
acts of kingly power. Nor did he perform any act of his sa- 
cerdotal office but only at his death, when he gave himself 
for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a * sweet smell- 
ing savour ;' Eph. v. 2. wherein God smelt a savour of rest 
and was appeased towards us. But the whole course of 
his life and ministry was the discharge of his prophetical 
office unto the Jews ; Rom. xv. 8. Which he was to do ac- 
cording to the great promise, Deut. xviii.' 18, 19. And on 
the acceptance or refusal of him herein, depended the life 
and death of the church of Israel; ver. 19. Acts iii. 23. 
Heb. i. 1. John viii 44. Hereunto was he fitted by this 
unction of the Spirit. And here also is a distinction be- 
tween the Spirit that was upon him, and his being anointed 
to preach, which contains the communication of the gifts of 
that Spirit unto him. As it is said, Isa. xi. 3. 'The Spirit 
rested on him as a spirit of wisdom, to make him of quick 
understanding in the fear of the Lord.' Now this was in a 
singular manner and in a measure inexpressible, whence he 
is said to be anointed with the ' oil of gladness above his 
fellows,' or those who were partakers of the same Spirit 
with him;Psal. xlv. 7. Heb. i. 8, 9. Although 1 acknow- 
ledge that there was in that expression a peculiar respect 
unto his glorious exaltation which afterward ensued, as hath 
been declared on that place. And this collation of extra- 
ordinary gifts for the discharge of his prophetical office was 
at his baptism ; Matt. iii. They were not bestowed on the 
head of the church, nor are any gifts of the same nature in 
general bestowed on any of his members, but for use, exer- 
cise, and improvement. And that they were then collated 
appears ; for, 


1. Then did he receive the visible pledge which confirmed 
him in, and testified unto others his calling of God to, the 
exercise of his office. ' For then the Spirit of God descended 
like a dove and rested on him;. and, lo, a voice came from 
heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well 
pleased;' Matt. iii. 16, 17. Hereby was he ' sealed of God 
the Father,' John vi. 27. in that visible pledge of his vocation 
setting the great seal of heaven to his commission. And 
this also was to be a testimony unto others, that they might 
own him in his office now he had undertaken to discharge 
it; John i. 33. 

2. He now entered on his public ministry, and wholly 
gave himself vp unto his work. For before he did only oc- 
casionally manifest the presence of God with him, somewhat 
to prepare the minds of men to attend unto his ministry; as 
when he filled them with astonishment at his discourses with 
the doctors in the temple ; Luke ii. 46, 47. And although it 
is probable that he might be acted by the Spirit in and unto 
many such extraordinary actions during his course of a pri- 
vate life, yet the fulness of gifts for his work he received not 
until the time of his baptism; and therefore, before that, he 
gave not himself up wholly unto his public ministry. 

3. Immediately hereon it is said that 'he was full of the 
Holy Ghost ;' Luke iv. 1 . Before he was said to ' wax strong in 
Spirit,' 7r\itpovf-i(vog crotyiag, Luke ii. 40. ' continually filling ;' 
but now he is irXfiprig irvevpiaTog ayiov, ' full of the Holy 
Ghost.' He was actually possessed of, and furnished with, 
all that fulness of spiritual gifts which were any way needful 
for him or useful unto him, or which human nature is capable 
of receiving. With respect hereunto doth the evangelist use 
that expression, ov yap Ik ptirpov Sidiocrtv 6 Qtbg to nvaiipa, 
•John iii. 34. ' For God giveth not the Spirit by measure.' 
That it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is here intended, unto 
whom the Spirit is thus given, is evident from the context, 
although it be not express in the text. He is spoken of, and 
the subject of the whole discourse ;ver. 31. ' He that cometh 
from above is above all. He that cometh from heaven is ' 
above all.' None doubts but that this is a description of 
the person of Christ. And in the beginning of this verse, 
'He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God;' 
which is the usual periphrasis of the Lord Christ, used at least 

VOL. ii. o 


twenty times in this Gospel. Of him this account is given, 
that he ' testifieth what he hath seen and heard ;' ver. 32. 
and that he ' speaketh the words of God ;' ver. 3, 4, Different 
events are also marked upon his testimony, for many re- 
fused it, ver. 32. but some received it, who therein set to 
' their seal that God is true ;' ver. 33. For he that 'believeth 
not the record that he gave of his Son hath made him a liar;' 
1 John v. 1. As a reason of all this it is added, that God 
' gave not the Spirit unto him by measure;' so that he was 
fully enabled to speak the words of God, and those by whom 
his testimony was rejected were justly liable to wrath ; 
ver. 36. Vain therefore is the attempt of Crellius, de Spirit. 
Sanct. followed by Schlichtingius in his Comment on this 
place, who would exclude the Lord Christ from being in- 
tended in these words. For they would have them signify 
no more but only, in general, that God is not bound up to 
measures in the dispensation of the Spirit, but gives to one 
according unto one measure, and to another according to 
another. But as this gloss overthrows the coherence of the 
words, disturbing the context, so it contradicts the text it- 
self. For God's not giving the Spirit Ik fxirpov ' by measure,' 
is his giving of him ctfiirpajg immeasurably, without known 
bounds or limits, and so the Spirit was given unto the Lord 
Christ only. For unto every one of us is * given grace ac- 
cording to the measure of the gift of Christ;' Ephes. iv. 7. 
that is, in what measure he pleaseth to communicate and 
distribute it. But the effects of this giving of the Spirit unto 
the Lord Christ not by measure, belonged unto that fulness 
from whence we ' receive grace for grace ;' John i. 16. For 
hereby the Father accomplished his will, when ' it pleased 
him, that in him all fulness should dwell,' Col. i. 19. that he 
in all things might have the pre-eminence. Nor can any 
difficulty of weight be cast on this interpretation from the 
use of the word in the present tense, which is by Crellius 
insisted on, SttWi'he giveth.' For Christ, they say, had be- 
fore received the Spirit, for this is spoken of him after his 
baptism. If therefore he bad been intended, it should rather 
have been, 'he hath given,' or ' he hath not given unto him by 
measure.' But, (1.) this was immediately on his baptism, and 
therefore the collation of the fulness of the Spirit might be 
spoken of as a thing present, being but newly past, which is 


an ordinary kind of speech on all occasions. Besides, (2.) 
the collation of the Spirit is a continued act, in that he was 
given him to abide with him, to rest upon him, wherein there 
was a continuance of the love of God towards, and his care 
over, him in his work. Hence the Lord Christ saith of him- 
self, or the prophet in his person, that the Spirit sent him. 
' Now the Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me ;' Isa. xlviii. 
16. The same work in sending of Christ is ascribed unto the 
Lord God, that is, the Father, and to the Spirit, but in a 
different manner. He was sent by the Father authoritatively, 
and the furniture he received by the Spirit, of gifts for his 
work and office, is called his sending of him. As the same 
work is assigned unto different persons in the Trinity on 
different accounts. 

Fifthly, It was in an especial manner by the power of the 
Holy Spirit, by which he wrought those great and miraculous 
works whereby his ministry was attested unto and confirmed. 
Hence it is said, that God wrought miracles by him ; Acts 
ii. 22. 'Jesus of Nazareth a man approved of God, by mi- 
racles and wonders and signs which God did by him.' For 
they are all immediate effects of divine power. So when 
he cast out devils with a word of command, he affirms that 
he did it by the 'finger of God;' Luke ii. 20. that is, the in- 
finite divine power of God; but the power of God acted in 
an especial manner by the Holy Spirit, as is expressly de- 
clared in the other evangelist ; Matt. xii. 28. And therefore, 
on the ascription of his mighty works unto Beelzebub the 
prince of devils, he lets the Jews know that^herein they 
blasphemed the Holy Spirit whose works indeed they were ; 
ver. 31, 32. Hence these mighty works are called Bwa/jietg 
' powers,' because of the power of the Spirit of God put forth 
for their working and effecting; see Mark vi. 5. ix. 39. 
Luke iv. 36. v. 17. vi. 19. viii. 46. ix. 1. And in the ex- 
ercise of this power consisted the testimony given unto 
him by the Spirit that he was the Son of God. For this was 
necessary unto the conviction of the Jews to whom he was 
sent; John x. 37, 38. 

Sixthly, By him was he guided, directed, comforted, sup- 
ported, in the whole course of his ministry, temptations, obe- 
dience, and sufferings. Some few instances on this head 
may suffice. Presently after his baptism when he was full 



of the Holy Ghost, he was 'led by the Spirit into the wilder- 
ness;' Luke iv. 1. The Holy Spirit guided him to begin his 
contest and conquest with the devil. Hereby he made an 
entrance into his ministry ; and it teacheth us all what we 
must look for, if we solemnly engage ourselves to follow him 
in the work of preaching the gospel. The word used in Mark 
to this purpose hath occasioned some doubt, what spirit is 
intended in those words, to irvtvfxa avrbv kj3aAXa tig rrjv 
tor]fxov, chap. i. 12. ' The Spirit driveth him into the wilder- 
ness.' It is evident that the same Spirit and the same act 
is intended in all the evangelists, here and Matt. iv. 1. Luke 
iv. 1. But how the Holy Spirit should be said Ik^uWuv 'to 
drive him/ is not so easy to be apprehended. But the word 
in Luke is vyaro which denotes a guiding and rational con- 
duct. And this cannot be ascribed unto any other spirit with 
respect unto our Lord Jesus, butonly the Spiritof God. Mat- 
thew expresseth the same effect by av{})ftri, chap. iv. 1. he was 
* carried,' or ' carried up,' or 'taken away' from the midst of the 
people. And this was vttotov irvevfiarog 'of that Spirit;' name- 
ly, which descended on him, and rested on him, immediately 
before ; chap. iii. 17. And the continuation of the discourse 
in Luke will not admit that any other spirit be intended. 
And ' Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit, returned from Jor- 
dan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness ;' namely, 
by that Spirit which he was full of. By k-j3aAAa therefore, 
in Mark, no more is intended but the sending of him forth 
by a high and strong impression of the Holy Spirit on his 
mind. HenCe the same word is used with respect unto the 
sending of others, by the powerful impression of the Spirit 
of God on their hearts, unto the work of preaching the gos- 
pel. Matt. ix. 38. ' Pray you therefore the Lord of the har- 
vest,' 07ra»c lKJ3aAi} tpyarag tig tov StpiGfxbv avrov. So also, 
Luke x. 2. ' that he would thrust forth labourers into his 
harvest;' namely, by furnishing them with the gifts of his 
Spirit, and by the power of his grace constraining them to 
their duty. So did he enter upon his preparation unto his 
work under his conduct. And it were well if others would 
endeavour after a conformity unto them within the rules of 
their calling. (2.) By his assistance was he carried tri- 
umphantly through the course of his temptations unto a 
perfect conquest of his adversary, as to the present conflict 


wherein he sought to divert him from his work, which after- 
ward he endeavoured by all ways and means to oppose and 
hinder. (3.) The temptation being finished, he returned 
again out of the wilderness to preach the gospel 'in the 
power of the Spirit ;' Luke iv. 14. He returned Iv rfj %v- 
vafiu tov Trvtvfiarog, in the ' power of the Spirit' into Galilee ; 
that is, powerfully enabled by the Holy Spirit unto the dis- 
charge of his work. And thence, in his first sermon at 
Nazareth he took those words of the prophet for his text, 
' The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed 
me to preach the gospel to the poor;' Luke iv. 18. The is- 
sue was, that they ' all bare him witness, and wondered at 
the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth;' ver. 
22. And as he thus began his ministry in the power of the 
Spirit, so having received him not by measure, he continually 
on all occasions put forth his wisdom, power, grace, and 
knowledge, to the astonishment of all, and the stopping of 
the mouths of his adversaries, shutting them up in their 
rage and unbelief. (4.) By him was he directed, strength- 
ened, and comforted, in his whole course, in all his tempta- 
tions, troubles, and sufferings, from first to last. For we 
know that there was a confluence of all those upon him in 
his whole way and work, a great part of that whereunto he 
humbled himself for our sakes consisting in these things. 
In and under them he stood in need of mighty supportment 
and strong consolation. This God promised unto him, and 
this he expected ; Isa. 1. 7, 8. xlii. 4. 6. xlix. 5 — 8. Now all 
the voluntary communications of the divine nature unto the 
human, were, as we have shewed, by the Holy Spirit. 

Seventhly, ' He offered himself up unto God through the 
eternal Spirit;' Heb. ix. 14. I know many learned men do 
judge, that by the eternal Spirit in that place, not the third 
person is intended, but the divine nature of the Son him- 
self. And there is no doubt but that also may properly be 
called the eternal Spirit. There is also a reason in the words 
themselves strongly inclining unto that sense and accep- 
tation of them. For the apostle doth shew whence it was 
that the sacrifice of the Lord Christ had an efficacy beyond 
and above the sacrifices of the law ; and whence it would 
certainly produce that great effect of purging our con- 
sciences from dead works. And this was from the dignity of 
his person on the account of his divine nature. It arose, 


I say, from the dignity of his person, his Deity giving 
sustentation unto his human nature in the sacrifice of him- 
self. For by reason of the indissoluble union of both his 
natures, his person became the principle of all his media- 
tory acts, and from thence had they their dignity and effi- 
cacy. Nor will I oppose this exposition of the words. But 
on the other side, many learned persons, both of the ancient 
and modern divines, do judge that it is the person of the 
Holy Spirit that is intended. 

And because this is a matter of great importance, 
namely, how the Lord Christ offered up himself unto God as 
a sacrifice by the eternal Spirit, I shall farther explain it, 
though but briefly. Those who look only on the outward 
part of the death of Christ can see nothing but suffering in 
it. The Jews took him, and they with the soldiers both 
scourged and slew him, hanging him on the tree. But the 
principal consideration of it, is his own offering himself a 
sacrifice unto God as the great high-priest of the church, to 
make atonement and reconciliation for sinners, which was 
hid from the world by those outward acts of violence which 
were upon him. And this he did by the eternal Spirit, 
wherein we may take notice of the ensuing instances. 

1. He sanctified, consecrated, or dedicated himself unto 
God for to be an offering or sacrifice ; John xvii. 19. ' For 
their sakes,' that is, the elect, ' I sanctify myself.' The Lord 
Christ was before this perfectly sanctified as to all inherent 
holiness, so that he could not speak of sanctifying himself 
afresh in that sense. Neither was it the consecration of him- 
self unto his office of a priest. For this was the act of him 
who called him; ' He glorified not himself to be made a high- 
priest, but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son ;' Heb. v. 6. 
He made him a priest by his death, after the power of an 
endless life; chap. vii. 16. 20, 21. Wherefore he conse- 
crated himself to be a sacrifice, as the beast to be sacrificed 
of old was first devoted unto that purpose. Therefore it is 
said, that he thus sanctified or consecrated himself, that we 
mio-ht be sanctified. Now, ' we are sanctified by the offering 
of the body of Christ once for all;' Heb. x. 10. This was his 
first sacerdotal act. He dedicated himself to be an offering 
to God. And this he did through the effectual operation of 
the eternal Spirit in him. 

2. He went voluntarily and of his own accord to the 


garden, which answered the adduction or bringing of the 
beast to be sacrificed unto the door of the tabernacle ac- 
cording to the law ; for there he did not only give up him- 
self into the hands of those who were to shed his blood, 
but also actually entered upon the offering up of himself 
unto God in his agony, when he ' offered up prayers and 
supplications with strong crying and tears ;' Heb. v. 7. which 
declares not the matter but the manner of his offering. 

3. In all that ensued, all that followed hereon, unto his 
giving up the ghost, he offered himself to God in and by those 
actings of the grace of the Holy Spirit in him, which ac- 
companied him to the last. And these are diligently to be 
considered, because on them depend the efficacy of the 
death of Christ, as to atonement and merit, as they were 
enhanced and rendered excellent by the worth and dignity 
of his person. For it is not the death of Christ, merely as it 
was penal and undergone by the way of suffering, that is the 
means of our deliverance, but the obedience of Christ therein, 
which consisted in his offering of himself through the eternal 
Spirit unto God, that gave efficacy and success unto it. We 
may, therefore, inquire, what were those principal graces of 
the Spirit which he acted in this offering of himself unto 
God. And they were, 

(1.) Love to mankind, and compassion towards sinners. 
This the holy soul of the Lord Jesus was then in the highest 
and most inconceivable exercise of. This therefore is fre- 
quently expressed where mention is made of this offering of 
Christ ; Gal. ii. 20. ' Who loved me and gave himself for me ;' 
Rev. i. 5. ' Who loved us and washed us in his own blood.' 
And compassion is the first grace required in a high-priest or 
sacrificer; Heb. v. 2. God being now upon a design of love 
(for it was in the pursuit of eternal love that Christ was sent 
into the world ; John iii. 16. Tit. iii. 4 — 6.), this love, that 
was now in its most inconceivable advancement in the heart 
of Christ, was most grateful and acceptable unto him. And 
this intenseness of love did also support the mind of Christ 
under all his sufferings ; as Jacob, through the greatness of 
his love unto Rachel, made light of the seven years' service 
that he endured for her ; Gen. xxix. 20. And so did the Lord 
Christ ' endure the cross and despise the shame for the joy' 
of saving his elect ' which was set before him j' Heb. xii. 2. 



And this was one grace of the eternal Spirit whereby he 
offered himself unto God. 

(2.) That which principally acted him in the whole, was 
his unspeakable zeal for, and ardency of affection unto, the 
glory of God. These were the coals which with a vehe- 
ment flame, as it were, consumed the sacrifice. And there 
were two things that he aimed at with respect unto the glory 
of God. [1.] The manifestation of his righteousness, holi- 
ness, and severity against sin. His design was to repair the 
glory of God, wherein it had seemed to suffer by sin; Psal. 
xl. 6—8. Heb. x. 5—7. He came to do that with full de- 
sire of soul (expressed in those words, ' Lo I come'), which 
legal sacrifices could not do, namely, to make satisfaction to 
the justice of God for sin, to be a propitiation to declare his 
righteousness ; Rom. iii. 25. And this he doth as to the man- 
ner of it with inexpressible ardency of zeal and affections ; 
ver. 8. * I delight to do thy will, O my God, yea thy law is 
in the midst of my bowels ;' he doubles the expression of 
the intenseness of his mind hereon. And therefore when 
he was to prepare himself in his last passover for his suffer- 
ing, he expresseth the highest engagement of heart and af- 
fections unto it; Luke xxii. 15. ' With desire have I de- 
sired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.' As 
with respect unto the same work he had before expressed 
it. ' I have a baptism to be baptized withal, and how am I 
straitened, or pained, till it be accomplished?' Luke xii. 50. 
His zeal to advance the glory of God in the manifestation of 
his righteousness and holiness, by the offering up himself 
as a sin-offering to make atonement, gave him no rest and 
ease until he was engaged in it, whence it wrought unto the 
utmost. [2.] The exercise of his grace and love. This he 
knew was the way to open the treasures of grace and love, 
that they might be poured out on sinners to the everlasting 
glory of God. For this was the design of God in the whole; 
Rom. iii. 24 — 26. This zeal and affection unto the glory of 
God's righteousness, faithfulness, and grace, which was 
wrought in the heart of Christ by the eternal Spirit, was that 
wherein principally he offered up himself unto God. 

(3.) His holy submission and obedience unto the will of God, 
which were now in the height of their exercise, and grace 
advanced unto the utmost in them, was another especial part 


of this his offering up himself. That this was wrought in 
him by the holy or eternal Spirit was before declared. And 
it is frequently expressed as that which had an especial in- 
fluence into the efficacy and merit of his sacrifice; Phil. ii. 
8. ' He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, 
the death of the cross.' And when he offered up prayers 
and supplications, ' though he were a Son, yet learned he 
obedience by the things that he suffered ;' Heb. v. 8. that 
is, he experienced obedience in suffering. It is true, that 
the Lord Christ in the whole course of his life yielded obe- 
dience unto God, as he was 'made of a woman, made under 
the law ;' Gal. iv. 4. But now he came to the great trial of 
it, with respect unto the especial command of the Father, 
' to lay down his life, and to make his soul an offering for sin;' 
Isa. liii. 10. This was the highest act of obedience unto 
God that ever was or ever shall be to all eternity. And there- 
fore doth God so express his satisfaction therein and accep- 
tance of it ; Isa. liii. 11, 12. Phil. ii. 9, 10. This was wrought 
in him, this he was wrought unto, by the Holy Spirit, and 
therefore by him offered himself unto God. 

(4.) There belongs also hereunto that faith and trust in 
God, which, with fervent prayers, cries, and supplications, he 
now acted on God and his promises, both with respect unto 
himself, and to the covenant which he was sealing with his 
blood. This our apostle represents as an especial work of his 
testified unto in the Old Testament ; Heb. ii. 13. ' I will put 
my trust in him.' And this, [1.] respected himself, namely, 
that he should be supported, assisted, and carried through 
the work he had undertaken unto a blessed issue. Herein 
I confess he was horribly assaulted, until he cried out, ' My 
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' Psal. xxii. 1. 
But yet after and through all his dreadful trial, his faith and 
trust in God were victorious. This he expressed in the 
depth and extremity of his trials; Psal. xxii. 9 — 11. and 
made such an open profession of it, that his enemies, when 
they supposed him lost and defeated, reproached him with 
it; ver. 8. Matt, xxvii. 43. To this purpose he declares 
himself at large ; Isa. 1. 7 — 9. So his faith and trust in God, 
as to his own supportment and deliverance, with the accom- 
plishment of all the promises that were made unto him upon 
his engagement into the work of mediation, were victorious. 


[2.] They respected the covenant, and all the benefits that 
the church of the elect was to be made partaker of thereby. 
The blood that he now shed was the blood of the covenant, 
and it was shed for his church ; namely, that the blessings of 
the covenant might be communicated unto them; Gal. iii. 
13, 14. With respect hereunto did he also exercise faith in 
God, as appears fully in his prayer which he made when he 
entered on his oblation ; John xvii. 

Now concerning these instances we may observe three 
things to our present purpose : 

(1.) These and the like gracious actings of the soul of 
Christ, were the ways and means whereby, in his death and 
blood-shedding, which was violent and by force inflicted on 
him as to the outward instruments, and was penal as to the 
sentence of the law, he voluntarily and freely offered up him- 
self a sacrifice unto God for to make atonement. And these 
were the things which from the dignity of his person became 
efficacious and victorious. Without these his death and 
blood-shedding had been no oblation. 

(2.) These were the things which rendered his offering 
of himself, to be a ' sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour unto 
God ;' Eph. v. 2. God was so absolutely delighted and 
pleased with these high and glorious acts of grace and obe- 
dience in Jesus Christ, that he smelt as it were a savour of 
rest towards mankind, or those for whom he offered himself; 
so that he would be angry with them no more, curse them 
no more : as it is said of the type of it in the sacrifice of 
Noah; Gen. viii.20, 21. God was more pleased with the obe- 
dience of Christ, than he was displeased with the sin and dis- 
obedience of Adam ; Rom. v. 17 — 19. It was not then the 
outward suffering of a violent and bloody death which was 
inflicted on him, by the most horrible wickedness that ever 
human nature brake forth into, that God was atoned ; Acts 
ii. 23. Nor yet was it merely his enduring the penalty of 
the law, that was the means of our deliverance. But the 
voluntary giving up of himself to be a sacrifice in these holy 
acts of obedience, was that upon which, in an especial man- 
ner, God was reconciled unto us. 

(3.) All these things being wrought in the human nature 
by the Holy Ghost, who in the time of his offering acted all 
his graces unto the utmost ; he is said thereon to 'offer him- 


self, unto God through the eternal Spirit,' by whom as our 
high-priest he was consecrated, spirited, and acted thereunto. 
Eighthly, There was a peculiar work of the Holy Spirit 
towards the Lord Christ whilst he was in the state of the dead!: 
For here our preceding rule must be remembered ; namely, 
that notwithstanding the union of the human nature of Christ 
with the divine person of the Son, yet the communications 
of God unto it, beyond subsistence, were voluntary. Thus 
in his death the union of his natures in his person was not 
in the least impeached ; but yet for his soul or spirit he re- 
commends that in an especial manner into the hands of God 
his Father ; Psal. xxxi. 5. Luke xxiii. 46. ' Father into thy 
hands I commend my spirit ;' for the Father had engaged 
himself in an eternal covenant, to take care of him, to pre- 
serve and protect him even in death, and to shew him again 
the 'way and path of life;' Psal. xvi. 11. Notwithstanding 
then the union of his person, his soul in its separate state 
was in an especial manner under the care, protection, and 
power of the Father, preserved in his love until the hour 
came wherein he shewed him again the path of life. His 
holy body in the grave continued under the especial care of 
the Spirit of God, and hereby was accomplished that great 
promise, ' that his soul should not be left in hell, nor the 
Holy One see corruption ;' Psal. xvi. 10. Acts ii. 31. It is 
the body of Christ which is here called ' the Holy One ;' as 
it was made a holy thing by the conception of it in the 
womb by the power of the Holy Ghost. And it is here 
spoken of in contradistinction unto his soul, and opposed by 
Peter unto the body of David, which when it died saw cor- 
ruption ; Acts ii. 29. This pure and holy substance was 
preserved in its integrity by the overshadowing power of the 
Holy Spirit, without any of those accidents of change which 
attend the dead bodies of others. I deny not but there was 
use made of the ministry of angels about the dead body of 
Christ whilst it was in the grave ; even those which were 
seen sitting afterward in the place where he lay ; John xx. 
12. by these was it preserved from all outward force and 
violation ; but this also was under the peculiar care of the 
Spirit of God, who how he worketh by angels hath been 
before declared. 

Ninthly, There was a peculiar work of the Holy Spirit 


in his resurrection, this being the completing act in laying 
the foundation of the church, whereby Christ entered into 
his rest; the great testimony given unto the finishing of the 
work of redemption, with the satisfaction of God therein, 
and his acceptation of the person of the Redeemer. It is 
on various accounts assigned distinctly to each person in 
the Trinity. And this not only as all the external works of 
God are undivided, each person being equally concerned in 
their operation, but also upon the account of their especial 
respect unto, and interest in, the work of redemption, in the 
manner before declared. Unto the Father it is ascribed on 
the account of his authority, and the declaration therein of 
Christ's perfect accomplishment of the work committed 
unto him ; Acts ii. 24. ' Him hath God raised up, having 
loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that 
he should be holden of it;' it is the Father who is spoken 
of: and he is said, as in other places, to raise Christ from 
the dead; but this he doth with respect unto ' his loosing 
the pains of death,' \vaag rag wSivctQ tov Savdrov. These are 
the JTO ton, which, with a little alteration of one vowel, 
signify the ' sorrows of death,' or the ' cords of death.' For 
JTiO ton are the ' sorrows of death,' and mo ton are the 
' cords of death ;' see Psal. xviii. 4. cxvi. 3. And these sor- 
rows of death, here intended, were the cords of it ; that is, 
the power it had to bind the Lord Christ for a season under 
it. For the ' pains of death,' that is, the w&vai, *■ tormenting 
pains,' ended in his death itself. But the consequents of 
them are here reckoned unto them, or the continuance un- 
der the power of death according unto the sentence of the 
law. These God loosed when, the law being fully satisfied, 
the sentence of it was taken off, and the Lord Christ was 
acquitted from its whole charge. This was the act of God 
the Father, as the supreme rector and judge of all. Hence 
he is said ' to raise him from the dead,' as the judge by his 
order delivereth an acquitted prisoner, or one who hath an- 
swered the law. The same work he also takes unto him- 
self; John x. 17, 18. ' I lay down my life that I may take it 
again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my- 
self: I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take 
it again.' For although men by violence took away his 
life, ' when with wicked hands they crucified and slew 


him,;' Acts ii. 23. iii. 15. yet because they had neither au- 
thority nor ability so to do without his own consent, he 
saith, * No man could, or did, take away his life;' that is, 
against his will, by power over him, as the lives of other 
men are taken away ; for this neither angels nor men could 
do. So, also, although the Father is said to raise him from 
the dead by taking off the sentence of the law, which he 
had answered ; yet he himself also took his life again 
by an act of the love, care, and power of his divine na- 
ture ; his living again being an act of his person, although 
the human nature only died. But the peculiar efficiency 
in the reuniting of his most holy soul and body, was 
an effect of the power of the Holy Spirit; 1 Pet. iii. 18. 
' He was put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the 
Spirit,' £wo7rotrj0dc Se rijf Trvev/xa-i, ' he was restored to life by 
the Spirit ;' and this was that Spirit whereby he preached 
unto them that were disobedient in the days of Noah, ver. 
19, 20. or that Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets 
from the foundation of the world; 1 Pet. i. 11, 12. by which 
he preached in Noah unto that disobedient generation, 
2 Pet. ii. 5. whereby the Spirit of God strove for a season 
with those inhabitants of the old world ; Gen. vi. 3. that is, 
the Holy Spirit of God. To the same purpose we are in- 
structed by our apostle ; Rom. viii. 11. ' But if the Spirit 
of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he 
that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your 
mortal bodies by his Spirit which dwelleth in you.' God 
shall quicken our mortal bodies also, by the same Spirit 
whereby he raised Christ from the dead. For so the rela- 
tion of the one work to the other, requires the words to be 
understood. And he asserts again the same expressly, Eph. 
i. 17 — 20. he prays that God would give his Holy Spirit 
unto them, as a spirit of wisdom and revelation; ver. 17. 
The effects thereof in them and upon them are described, 
ver. 18. and this he desires that they may so be made par- 
takers of, that by the work of the Spirit of God in them- 
selves, renewing and quickening of them, they might have 
an experience of that exceeding greatness of his power, 
which he put forth in the Lord Christ when he raised him 
from the dead. And the evidence or testimony given 
unto his being the Son of God, by his resurrection from the 


dead, is said to be ' according to the Spirit of holiness,' or 
the Holy Spirit'; Rom. i. 4. He was positively declared to 
be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead ; Iv Su- 
vajULU, Kara Trvev^a ayiuxxvvnq, that is, by the ' powerful 
working of the Holy Spirit.' This also is the intendment 
of that expression, 1 Tim. iii. 16. ' Justified in the Spirit.' 
God was ' manifest in the flesh' by his incarnation and pas- 
sion therein, and 'justified in the Spirit' by a declaration of 
his acquitment from the sentence of death, and all the evils 
which he underwent, with the reproaches wherewith he was 
contemptuously used, by his quickening and resurrection 
from the dead, through the mighty and effectual working of 
the Spirit of God. 

Tenthly, It was the Holy Spirit that glorified the human 
nature, and made it every way meet for its eternal residence 
at the right hand of God, and a pattern of the glorification 
of the bodies of them that believe on him. He who first 
made his nature holy, now made it glorious. And as we 
are made conformable unto him in our souls here, his image 
being renewed in us by the Spirit, so he is in his body now glo- 
rified by the effectual operation of the same Spirit, the exem- 
plar and pattern of that glory which in our mortal bodies 
we shall receive by the same Spirit. For ' when he appears 
we shall be like him ;' 1 John iii. 2. seeing ' he will change 
our vile bodies, that they may be fashioned like unto his 
glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able 
to subdue all things unto himself;' Phil. iii. 21. And these 
are some of the principal instances of the operations of the 
Holy Spirit on the human nature of the head of the church. 
The whole of them all, I confess, is a work that we can look 
but little into, only what is plainly revealed we desire to 
receive and embrace ; considering that if we are his, we are 
predestinated to be made conformable in all things unto 
him, and that by the powerful and effectual operation of 
that Spirit which thus wrought all things in him to the 
glory of God. And as it is a matter of unspeakable conso- 
lation unto us, to consider what hath been done in and 
upon our nature by the application of the love and grace of 
God through his Spirit unto it ; so it is of great advantage, 
in that it directs our faith and supplications in our endea- 
vours after conformity with him, which is our next end, 


under the enjoyment of God in glory. What, therefore, in 
these matters we apprehend we embrace ; and for the depth 
of them they are the object of our admiration and praise. 

ii. Secondly, There is yet another work of the Holy Spirit, 
not immediately in and upon the person of the Lord Christ, 
but towards him, and on his behalf with respect unto his 
work and office. And it compriseth the head and fountain 
of the whole office of the Holy Spirit towards the church. 
This was his witness-bearing unto the Lord Christ ; namely, 
that he was the Son of God, the true Messiah, and that the 
work which he performed in the world, was committed unto 
him by God the Father to accomplish. And this same work 
he continueth to attend unto, unto this day, and will do so 
to the consummation of all things. It is known how the 
Lord Christ was reproached whilst he was in this world, and 
how ignominiously he was sent out of it by death. Hereon 
a great contest ensued amongst mankind, wherein heaven 
and hell were deeply engaged. The greatest part of the 
world, the princes, rulers, and wise men of it, affirmed, that 
he was an impostor, a seducer, a malefactor, justly punished 
for his evil deeds. He on the other side chose twelve apo 
sties to bear testimony unto the holiness of his life, the 
truth and purity of his doctrine, the accomplishment of the 
prophecies of the Old Testament in his birth, life, work, 
and death ; and in especial unto his resurrection from the 
dead, whereby he was justified and acquitted from all the 
reproaches of hell and the world, and their calumnies re- 
felled. But what could the testimony of twelve poor men, 
though never so honest, prevail against the confronting suf- 
frage of the world ? Wherefore this work of bearing wit- 
ness unto the Lord Christ, was committed unto him who is 
above and over all, who knoweth how, and is able, to make 
his testimony prevalent ; John xv. 26. ' But when the Com- 
forter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, 
even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father, 
he shall testify of me.' Accordingly, the apostles plead his 
concurring testimony ; Acts v. 32. ' And we are his wit- 
nesses of these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom 
God hath given to them that obey him/ And how he thus 
gave his testimony our apostle declares, Heb. ii. 4. ' God also 
bearing witness with them (that is, the apostles), both with 


signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the 
Holy Spirit, according to his will.' The first principal end 
why God gave the Holy Spirit to work all those miraculous 
effects in them that believed in Jesus, was to bear witness 
unto his person, that he was indeed the Son of God, owned 
and exalted by him. For no man not utterly forsaken of 
all reason and understanding, not utterly blinded, would 
once imagine, that the Holy Spirit of God would work such 
marvellous operations in and by them who believed on him, 
if he designed not to justify his person, work, and doctrine 
thereby. And this in a short time, together with that effec- 
tual power which he put forth in and by the preaching of 
the word, carried not only his vindication against all the 
machinations of Satan, and his instruments throughout the 
world, but also subdued the generality of mankind unto 
faith in him, and obedience unto him ; 1 Cor. x. 4, 5. And 
upon this testimony it is, that there is real faith in him yet 
maintained in the world. This is that which he promised 
unto his disciples whilst he was yet with them in the world, 
when their hearts were solicitous how they should bear up 
against their adversaries upon his absence. ' I will,' saith he, 
' send the Comforter unto you, and when he is come, he will 
reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judg- 
ment; of sin, because they believe not on me; of righte- 
ousness, because I go to my Father and ye see me no more; 
of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged;' 
John xvi. 7 — 11. The reason why the world believed not 
on Christ, was, because they believed not that he was sent 
of God; John ix. 29. By his testimony the Spirit was to 
reprove the world of their infidelity, and to convince them 
of it by evidencing the truth of his mission. For hereon the 
whole issue of the controversy between him and the world 
did depend. Whether he were righteous or a deceiver, was 
to be determined by his being sent, or not sent of God, and 
consequently God's acceptance or disapprobation of him. 
That he was so sent, so approved, the Holy Spirit convinced 
the world by his testimony, manifesting that he ' went to 
the Father,' and was exalted by him ; for it was upon his 
ascension and exaltation that he received and poured out 
the promise of the Spirit to this purpose ; Acts ii. 33. More- 
over, whilst he was in the world, there was an unrighteous 


judgment by the instigation of Satan passed upon him. On 
this testimony of the Spirit, that judgment was to be re- 
versed, and a contrary sentence passed on the author of it, 
the prince of this world. For by the gospel so testified 
unto, was he discovered, convicted, judged, condemned, and 
cast out of that power and rule in the world, which by the 
darkness of the minds of men within, and idolatry without, 
he had obtained and exercised. And that the Holy Spirit 
continueth to do the same work, though not absolutely by 
the same means, unto this very day, shall be afterward de- 

And by these considerations may we be led into that 
knowledge of, and acquaintance with, our Lord Jesus Christ, 
which is so necessary, so useful, and so much recommended 
unto us in the Scripture. And the utter neglect of learn- 
ing the knowledge of Christ, and of the truth as it is in 
him, is not more pernicious unto the souls of men, than is 
the learning of it by undue means, whereby false and mis- 
chievous ideas or representations of him are infused into 
the minds of men. The Papists would learn and teach him 
by images, the work of men's hands, and teachers of lies. 
For besides that they are forbidden by God himself to be 
used unto any such purposes, and therefore cursed with bar- 
renness and uselessness as to any end of faith or holiness ; 
they are in themselves suited only to ingenerate low and 
carnal thoughts in depraved superstitious minds. For as 
the worshippers of such images know not what is the pro- 
per cause, nor the proper object, of that reverence, and those 
affections they find in themselves, when they approach unto 
them and adore before them ; so the apprehensions which 
they can have hereby, tend but to the knowing after the 
flesh, which the apostle looked on as no part of his duty ; 
2 Cor. v. 16. But the glory of the human nature, as united 
unto the person of the Son of God, and engaged in the dis- 
charge of his office of mediator, consists alone in these emi- 
nent, peculiar, ineffable communications of the Spirit of 
God unto him, and his powerful operations in him ; this is 
represented unto us in the glass of the gospel, which we, be- 
holding by faith, are changed into the same image by the 
same Spirit; 2 Cor. iii. 18. 

Our Lord Christ himself did foretell us, that there would 



be great inquiries after him, and that great deceits would be 
immixed therewithal ; ' If,' saith he, ' they shall say unto 
you, he is in the wilderness, go not forth ; behold he is in the 
secret chambers, believe it not ;' Matt. xxiv. 26. It is not a 
wilderness, low, persecuted, inglorious, and invisible condi- 
tion as to outward profession, that our Saviour here intend- 
eth. For himself foretold that his church should be driven 
into the wilderness, and nourished there, and that for a long 
season; Rev. xii. 6. And where his church is, there is 
Christ, for his promise is to be with them, and among them, 
unto the end of the world; Matt, xxviii. 20. Nor by secret 
chambers doth he intend those private places of meeting for 
security, which all his disciples for some hundreds of years 
were compelled unto, and did make use of, after his apostles, 
who met sometimes in an upper room, sometimes in the night 
for fear of the Jews. And such it is notorious were all the 
meetings of the primitive Christians. But our Saviour here 
foretells the false ways that some would pretend he is taught 
by and found in. For, first, some would say he was lv ry 
ip/jjuw in the desert or wilderness; and if men would go forth 
thither, there they would see him and find him. And there 
is nothing intended hereby, but the ancient superstitious 
monks, who under a pretence of religion, retired them- 
selves into deserts and solitary places. For there they pre- 
tended great intercourse with Christ, great visions and ap- 
pearances of him, being variously deluded and imposed on 
by Satan and their own imaginations. It is ridiculous on 
the one hand, and deplorable on the other, to consider the 
woful follies, delusions, and superstitions, this sort of men 
fell into : yet was inthose days nothing more common, than to 
say, that Christ was in the desert, conversing with the monks 
and anchorites. ' Go not forth unto them/ saith our Lord 
Christ, ' for in so doing you will be deceived;' and again 
saith he, ' If they say unto them he is, lv TolgTafiuoig, in the 
secret chambers, believe it not.' There is, or I am much de- 
ceived, a deep and mysterious instruction in these words. 
Tafiela, signifies those secret places in a house where bread 
and wine and cates of all sorts are laid up and stored. This 
is the proper signification and use of the word. What pre- 
tence then could there be for any to say that Christ was in 
such a place? Why, there ensued so great a pretence hereof, 


and so horrible a superstition thereon, that it was of divine 
wisdom to foresee it, and of divine goodness to forewarn us 
of it. For it is nothing but the popish figment of transub- 
stantiation that is intended. Christ must be in the secret 
places where their wafer and wine was deposited, that is, 
Iv Tolg rafxtiotg. Concerning this, saith our Saviour, 'believe 
them not.' All crafts, and frauds, and bloody violences, will 
be used to compel you to believe a Christ in the pix and re- 
pository; but if you would not be seduced, ' believe them 
not.' Such are the false ways whereby some have pretended 
to teach Christ, and to learn him, which have led them from 
him into hurtful snares and perdition. The consideration 
that we have insisted on will guide us, if attended to, unto 
a spiritual and saving knowledge of him, and we are to learn 
thus to know him. 

First, That we may/cwe Az'mwitha pure unmixed love. It 
is true, it is the person of Christ as God and man, that is the 
proper and ultimate object of our love towards him. But a 
clear distinct consideration of his natures and their excel- 
lencies is effectual to stir up and draw forth our love to- 
wards him. So the spouse in the Canticles, rendering a rea- 
son of her intense affections towards him, says, That ' he is 
white and ruddy, the chiefest of ten thousand;' that is, per- 
fect in the beauty of the graces of the Holy Spirit, which 
rendered him exceeding amiable. So also Psal. xlv. 2. Would 
you therefore propose Christ unto your affections, so as that 
your love unto him may be sincere and without corruption, 
as it is required to be; Eph. vi. 24. that you may* not lavish 
away the actings of your souls upon a false object, and think 
you love^Christ, when you love only the imaginations of your 
own breasts; consider his human nature, as it was rendered 
beautiful and lovely by the work of the Spirit of God upon 
it before described. Do you love him because he was and is so 
full of grace, so full of holiness, because in him there was an 
all-fulness of the graces of the Spirit of God ? Consider aright 
what hath been delivered concerning him, and if you can and 
do, on the account thereof, delight in him, and love him, your 
love is genuine and spiritual. But if your love be merely 
out of an apprehension of his being now glorious in heaven, 
and there able to do you good or evil, it differs not much 
from that of the Papists, whose love is much regulated in its 

p 2 


actings, by the good or bad painting of the images whereby 
they represent him. You are often pressed to direct your love 
unto the person of Christ, and it is that which is your prin- 
cipal duty in this world. But this you cannot do without a 
distinct notion and knowledge of him. There are therefore 
three things, in general, that you are to consider to this 

1. The blessed union of his two natures in the same person. 
Herein he is singular, God having taken that especial state 
on him, which in no other thing or way had any consideration ; 
this therefore is to have a speciality in our divine love to the 
person of Christ. 

2. The uncreated glories of the divine nature, whence our 
love hath the same object with that which we owe unto God 

3. That perfection and fulness of grace which dwelt in hi3 
human nature, as communicated unto him by the Holy Spirit 
whereof we have treated. 

If you love the person of Christ, it must be on these con- 
siderations. Which whilst some have neglected, they have 
doted on their own imaginations; and whilst they have 
thought themselves even sick of love for Christ, they have 
only languished in their own fancies. 

Secondly, We are to know Christ so, as to labour after 
conformity unto him. And this conformity consists only in a 
participation of those graces whose fulness dwells in him. 
We can therefore no other way regularly press after it, but 
by an acquaintance with, and due consideration of, the work 
of the Spirit of God upon his human nature, which is there- 
fore worthy of our most diligent inquiry into. 

And so have we given a brief delineation of the dispensa- 
tion and work of the Holy Spirit, in and towards the person 
of our Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church; his pre- 
paration of a mystical body for him, in his powerful gracious 
work on the elect of God, doth nextly ensue. 









Christ the head of the new creation. Things premised in general unto the 
remaining work of the Spirit. Things presupposed unto the work of the 
Spirit towards the church, the love and grace of Father and Son. The 
whole work of the building of the church committed to the Holy Spirit ; 
Acts ii. 33. opened. The foundation of the church in the promise of the 
Spirit, audits building by him alone. Christ present with his church only 
by his Spirit; Matt, xxviii. 19. Acts i. 9, 10. iii. 21. Matt, xviii. 19. 
1 Cor. \i. 16. iii. 16. compared. The Holy Spirit works the work of 
Christ; John xvi. 13 — 15. opened. The Holy Spirit the peculiar author 
of all grace. The Holy Spirit worketh all this according to his own will. 
1. His will and pleasure is in all his works. 2. He works variously as to 
the kinds and degrees of his operations. How he may be resisted, how not. 
How the same work is ascribed unto the Spirit distinctly, and to others with 
him. The general heads of his operations towards the church. 

We have considered the work of the Spirit of God in his 
laying the foundation of the church of the New Testament, 
by his dispensations towards the head of it, our Lord Jesus 
Christ. He is the foundation-stone of this building, with 
seven eyes engraven on him, or filled with an absolute per- 
fection of all the gifts and graces of the Spirit ; Zech. iii. 9. 
which, when he is exalted also as ' the head-stone in the 
corner,' there are shoutings in heaven and earth, crying, 
' Grace, grace unto him;' Zech. iv. 7. As upon the laying 
of the foundation, and placing of the corner-stones of the 
earth in the old creation, ' the morning stars sang together, 
and all the sons of God shouted for joy;' Job xxxviii. 6, 7. 


so upon the laying of this foundation, and placing of this 
corner-stone in the new creation, all things sing together and 
cry, * Grace, grace' unto it. The same hand which laid this 
foundation, doth also finish the building. The same Spirit 
which was given unto him, * not by measure,' John iii. 34. 
giveth grace unto every one of us, ' according to the measure 
of the gift of Christ;' Eph. iv. 7. And this falleth now under 
our consideration ; namely, the perfecting the work of the new 
creation by the effectual operation and distributions of the 
Spirit of God. And this belongs unto the establishment of 
our faith, that he who prepared, sanctified, and glorified the 
human nature, the natural body of Jesus Christ, the head of 
the church, hath undertaken to prepare, sanctify, and glorify 
his mystical body, or all the elect given unto him of the 
Father. Concerning which, before we come to consider par- 
ticular instances, some things in general must be premised; 
which are these that follow : 

First, Unto the work of the Holy Spirit towards the church, 
some things are supposed from whence it proceeds, which it 
is built upon, and resolved into. It is not an original but a 
perfecting work ; some things it supposeth, and bringeth all 
things to perfection ; and these are, 

1. The love, grace, counsel, and eternal purpose of the 
Father. 2. The whole work of the mediation of Jesus Christ, 
which things I have handled elsewhere. For it is the pecu- 
liar work of the Holy Spirit, to make those things of the 
Father and Son effectual unto the souls of the elect, to the 
praise of the glory of the grace of God. God doth all things 
for himself, and his supreme end is the manifestation of his 
own glory. And in the old or first creation, he seems prin- 
cipally, or firstly, to intend the demonstration and exaltation 
of the glorious essential properties of his nature, his good- 
ness, power, wisdom, and the like ; as Psal. xix. 1—4. Rom. 
i. 19—21. Acts xiv. 15—17. xvii. 24—27. leaving only on 
the works of his hands some obscure impressions of the dis- 
tinction of persons, subsisting in the unity of that being, 
whose properties he had displayed and glorified. But in the 
work of the new creation, God firstly and principally intends 
the especial revelation of each person of the whole Trinity 
distinctly, in their peculiar distinct operations ; all which tend 
ultimately to the manifestation of the glory of his nature 


also. And herein consists the principal advantage of the 
New Testament above the Old ; for although the work of the 
new creation was begun and carried on secretly and virtually 
under the Old Testament ; yet they had not a full discovery 
of the economy of the Holy Trinity therein, which was not 
evidently manifest until the whole work was illustriously 
brought to light by the gospel. Hence, although there ap- 
pear a vigorous acting of faith, and ardency of affection, in 
the approaches of the saints unto God, under the Old Testa- 
ment ; yet as unto a clear access to the Father through the 
Son by the Spirit, as Eph. ii. 18. wherein the life and com- 
fort of our communion with God doth consist, we hear no- 
thing of it. Herein, therefore, God plainly declares, that the 
foundation of the whole was laid in the counsel, will, and grace 
of the Father ; Eph. i. 3 — 6. Then that the making way 
for the accomplishing of that counsel of his, so that it might 
be brought forth to the praise of his glory, is by the media- 
tion of the Son ; God having designed in this work to bring 
things so about, that all men should ' honour the Son, even 
as they honour the Father ;' John v. 23. There yet remains 
the actual application of all to the souls of men, that they 
may be partakers of the grace designed in the counsel of the 
Father, and prepared in the mediation of the Son. And 
herein is the Holy Spirit to be manifested and glorified, that 
he also, together with the Father and the Son, may be known, 
adored, worshipped, according unto his own will. This is 
the work that he hath undertaken. And hereon, upon the 
solemn initiation of any person into the covenant of God, in 
answer unto this design and work, he is ' baptized into the 
name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit ;' 
Matt, xxviii. 18. And these things have been discoursed of 
before, though necessarily here called over asrain. 

Secondly, From the nature and order of this work of God, 
it is, that after the Son was actually exhibited in the flesh, ac- 
cording to the promise, and had fulfilled what he had taken 
upon him to do in his own person, the great promise of car- 
rying on and finishing the whole work of the grace of God 
in our salvation, concerns the sending of the Holy Spirit, to 
do and perform what he also had undertaken*. Thus when 

a Kal fjiaXia-rd ye to dwoXausiv toUj avct7rXao-9-EVTaj tov ayiacfAov, x.a.1 hauevsiv Iv rn 
ava.ir'hdo-li, t?j toD -srayayiou wnifAaro; ia-ti Si/xougyla; ti xal a-woy?;. Jobius apud 
Photium. lib. 122. 


our Lord Jesus Christ was ascended into heaven, and began 
conspicuously and gloriously to carry on the building of his 
church upon himself, the rock and foundation of it, it is said, 
that * being exalted by the right hand of God, he received 
of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit ;' Acts ii. 33. 
which must be a little opened. (1.) Before he departed from 
his disciples, as hath been mentioned on several occasions, he 
comforted and cheered their drooping spirits, with the pro- 
mise of sending him unto them, which he often repeated and 
inculcated on their minds ; John xiv. 15, 16. And, (2.) when 
he was actually leaving of them after his resurrection, he 
gives them order to sit still, and not to engage in the public 
work of building the church, whereunto he had designed them, 
until that promise were actually accomplished towards them ; 
Acts i. 4. ' Being assembled together with them, he com- 
manded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, 
but wait for the promise of the Father ;' and ver. 8. * Ye shall 
receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and ye 
shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, 
and in Samaria, and unto the utmost parts of the earth.' He 
would have them look neither for assistance in theirwork, nor 
success unto it, but from the promised Spirit alone ; and lets 
them know also, that by his aid they should be enabled to 
carry their testimony of him to the uttermost parts of the 
earth. And herein lay, and herein doth lie, the foundation 
of the ministry of the church, as also its continuance and ef- 
ficacy. The kingdom of Christ is spiritual, and in the ani- 
mating principles of it, invisible. If we fix our minds only 
on outward order, we lose the rise and power of the whole ; 
it is not an outward visible ordination by men, though that 
be necessary, by rule and precept, but Christ's communica- 
tion of that Spirit, the everlasting promise whereof he re- 
ceived of the Father, that gives being, life, usefulness, and 
success to the ministry. Wherefore, also, (3.) upon his as- 
cension in the accomplishment of the great promises given 
unto the church under the Old Testament; Isa. xliv. 3. Joel 
i. 18. as also of his own, newly given unto his disciples, he 
poured forth his Spirit on them. This the apostle Peter de- 
clares in this place ; ' being exalted by the right hand of 
God, and having received of the Father the promise of the 
Holy Spirit; he shed forth what they then saw and heard,' in 


the miraculous operations and effects of it. And he is said 
then to receive the promise of the Father, because he then 
received the thing promised. The promise was not then first 
given unto him, nor did he then receive it for himself ; for as 
the promise was given long before, so in his own person he had 
received the fulness of the Spirit from his incarnation, as hath 
been declared. But now he had power given him actually to 
fulfil and accomplish the promise in the collation of the thing 
promised, and is thence said to receive the promise. So Heb. 
xi. 13.39. it is said of all believers under the Old Testament, 
that they died in faith, ' having not received the promise ;' 
that is, the thing promised was not actually exhibited in their 
days, though they ' had the promise of it ;' as it is expressly 
said of Abraham, chap. vii. 6. The promise therefore itself 
was given unto the Lord Christ, and actually received by him 
in the covenant of the Mediator, when he undertook the preat 
work of the restoration of all things to the glory of God. For 
herein had he the engagement of the Father that the Holy 
Spirit should be poured out on the sons of men, to make effec- 
tual unto their souls the whole work of his meditation ; where- 
fore he is said now ' to receive this promise/ because on his 
account, and by him as exalted, it was now solemnly accom- 
plished, in and towards the church. In the same manner 
the same thing is described, Psal. lxviii. 18. ' Thou hast as- 
cended on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast re- 
ceived gifts for men ;' which is rendered, Eph. iv. 8. ' Thou 
hast given gifts unto men;' for he received the promise at this 
time, only to give out the Spirit and his gifts unto men. And 
if any are so fond as to expect strength and assistance in the 
work of the ministry without him, or such success in their 
labours as shall find acceptance with God ; they do but de- 
ceive their own souls and others. 

Here lay the foundation of the Christian church. The 
Lord Christ had called his apostles to the great work of 
building his church, and the propagation of his gospel in the 
world. Of themselves, they were plainly and openly defec- 
tive in all qualifications and abilities that might contribute 
any thing thereunto. But whatever is wanting in themselves, 
whether light, wisdom, authority, knowledge, utterance, or 
courage, he promiseth to supply them withal. And this he 
would not do, nor did any otherwise, but bv sendino- the 


Holy Spirit unto them, on whose presence and assistance 
alone depended the whole success of their ministry in the 
world. It was ' through the Holy Ghost that he gave com- 
mandments unto them ;' Acts i. 2. Those commandments 
concern the whole work, in preaching the gospel and found- 
ing of the church ; and these he gives unto them through 
the actings of divine wisdom in the human nature by the 
Holy Ghost. And on their part, without his assistance, he 
forbids them to attempt any thing ; ver. 4. 8, 9. In this pro- 
mise, then, the Lord Christ founded the church itself, and 
by it he builded it up ; and this is the hinge whereon the 
whole weight of it doth turn and depend unto this day. Take 
it away, suppose it to cease as unto a continual accomplish- 
ment, and there will be an absolute end of the church of 
Christ in this world. No dispensation of the Spirit, no 
church. He that would utterly separate the Spirit from the 
word, had as good burn his Bible. The bare letter of the 
New Testament will no more ingenerate faith and obedience 
in the souls of men, no more constitute a church state among 
them who enjoy it, than the letter of the Old Testament doth 
so at this day among the Jews; 2 Cor. iii. 6. 8. But blessed 
be God who hath knit these things together towards his 
elect, in the bond of an everlasting covenant; Isa. lix. 21. 
Let men, therefore, cast themselves into what order they 
please ; institute what forms of government and religious 
worship they think good ; let them do it, either by an attend- 
ance according unto the best of their understandings, unto 
the^etter of the Scripture, or else in an exercise of their own 
wills, wisdom, and invention ; if the work of the Spirit of 
God be disowned or disclaimed by them, if there be not in 
them, and upon them, such a work of his as he is promised 
by our Lord Jesus Christ, there is no church state amongst 
them ; nor as such is it to be owned or esteemed. And on 
the ministry and the church do all ordinary communications 
of grace from God depend. 

Thirdly, It is the Holy Spirit who supplies the bodily 
absence of Christ ; and by him doth he accomplish all his 
promises to the church. Hence some of the ancients call 
him ' vicarium Christi/ ( the vicar of Christ,' or he who re- 
presents his person, and dischargeth his promised work ; 
operant navat Christo vicariam.' When our Lord Jesus was 


leaving the world, he gave his disciples command to ' preach 
the gospel,' and to ' disciple the world,' into the faith and 
profession thereof; Matt, xxviii. 19. For their encourage- 
ment herein, he promiseth his own presence with them in 
their whole work, wherever any of them should be called 
unto it, and that whilst he would have the gospel preached 
on the earth; so saith he, ' 1 am with you always, even unto 
the end of the world, or the consummation of all things ;' 
ver. 20. Immediately after he had thus spoken unto them, 
' while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received 
him out of their sight, and they looked steadfastly towards 
heaven as he went up;' Acts i. 9, 10. Where now is the 
accomplishment of his promise, that he would be with them 
unto the end of all things, which was the sole encouragement 
he gave them unto their great undertaking ? It may be, that 
after this his triumphant ascension into heaven, to take pos- 
session of his kingdom and glory, he came again unto them, 
and made his abode with them. ' No (saith Peter), the hea- 
vens must receive him until the time of the restitution of all 
things;' Acts hi. 21. How then is this promise of his made 
good, which had such a peculiar respect unto the ministry 
and ministers of the gospel, that, without it, none can ever 
honestly or conscientiously engage in the dispensation of it, 
or expect the least success upon their so doing ? Besides, 
he had promised unto the church itself, that ' wherever two 
or three were gathered together in his name, that he would 
be in the midst of them;' Matt, xviii. 19, 20. Hereon, do 
all their comforts and all their acceptance with God depend. 
I say, all these promises are perfectly fulfilled by his sending 
of the Holy Spirit. In and by him, he is present with his 
disciples in their ministry and their assemblies. And when- 
ever Christ leaves the world, the church must do so too. 
For it is his presence alone which puts men into that condi- 
tion, or invests them with that privilege. For so he saith, 
' I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their 
God, and they shall be my people ;' 2 Cor. vi. 16. Lev. xxvi. 
12. Their being the ' people of God,' so as therewithal to be 
the temple of the living God, that is, to be brought into a 
sacred church state for his worship, depends on his ' dwell- 
ing in them,' and walking in them ; and this he doth by his 
Spirit alone. * For know you not that you are the temple 


of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ;' 1 Cor. 
iii. 16. He, therefore, so far represents the person, and sup- 
plies the bodily absence, of Christ, that on his presence the 
being of the church, the success of the ministry, and the edi- 
fication of the whole, do absolutely depend. And this, if 
any thing in the whole gospel, deserves our serious conside- 
ration. For, 1. the Lord Jesus hath told us that his presence 
with us by his Spirit, is better and more expedient for us 
than the continuance of his bodily presence. Now, who is 
there that hath any affection for Christ, but thinks that the 
carnal presence of the human nature of Christ would be of 
unspeakable advantage unto him ? And so no doubt it 
would, had any such thing been designed or appointed in the 
wisdom and love of God. But so it is not ; and, on the other 
side, we are commanded to look for more advantage and 
benefit by his spiritual presence with us, or his presence 
with us by the Holy Ghost. It is, therefore, certainly in- 
cumbent on us, to inquire diligently what valuation we have 
hereof, and what benefit we have hereby. For if we find not 
that we really receive grace, assistance, and consolation, 
from this presence of Christ with us, we have no benefit at 
all by him, nor from him, for he is now no otherwise for those 
ends with any but by his Spirit. And this they will one day 
find, whose profession is made up of such a sottish contra- 
diction, as to avow r an honour for Jesus Christ, and yet blas- 
pheme his Spirit in all his holy operations. 2. The Lord Christ 
having expressly promised to be present with us to the end 
of all things, there are great inquiries how that promise is 
accomplished. Some say, he is present with us by his mi- 
nisters and ordinances ; but how then is he present with 
those ministers themselves, unto whom the promise of his 
presence is made in an especial manner ? The Papists would 
have him carnally and bodily present in the sacrament. But 
he himself hath told us, that ' the flesh,' in such a sense, 
' profiteth nothing ;' John vi. 63. and that it is the ' Spirit 
alone that quickeneth.' The Lutherans fancy an omnipre- 
sence, or ubiquity of his human nature, by virtue of its per- 
sonal union. But this is destructive of that nature itself; 
which being made to be every where as such a nature, is truly 
nowhere. And the most learned among them are ashamed 
of this imagination. The words of Schmidt onEph. iv. 10. 


tva 7r\i}puxnj ra iravra are worthy consideration. ' Per rci 
■navra aliqui intelligunt totum mundum, seu totum univer- 
sum hoc, exponuntque ut omnipraesentia sua omnibus in 
mundo locis adesset, loca omnia implendo : et hi verbum 
TrXripcuar) de physica et crassa impletione accipiunt; quam 
tamen talis irXvpioaig seu impletio locorum in mundo omnium 
quae vel expansionem corpoream in quantitate continua, vel 
multiplicationem, imo infinitam multitudinem unius ejus- 
demque corporis in discreta praesupponit, et ex humana spe- 
culatione orta est, falsoque nostris ecclesiis affingitur (where- 
in yet he confesseth that it is taught); ne cogitanda quidem 
sit pio homini; sed potius omni praesentia Christi hominis 
— uti promissa est, modo nobis ineffabilicr edi, et multo 
certius aliunde sciri possit ex ipsius promissione;' Matt, 
xxviii. 20. This way, as we say with the Scripture, is by his 
Spirit; the perfect manner of whose presence and operation 
is ineffable. 

Fourthly, As he represents the person, and supplies the 
room and place, of Jesus Christ, so he worketh andeffecteth 
whatever the Lord Christ hath taken upon himself to work 
and effect towards his disciples. Wherefore as the work of 
the Son was not his own work, but rather the ' work of the 
Father who sent him,' and in whose name he performed it; 
so the work of the Holy Spirit is not his own work, but ra- 
ther the work of the Son, by whom he is sent, and in whose 
name he doth accomplish it; John xvi. 13—15. ' Howbeit 
when the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all 
truth. For he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he 
shall hear, that he shall speak, and he will shew you things 
to come. He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine 
and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath 
are mine; therefore, said I, that he shall take of mine, and 
shew it unto you/ He comes to reveal and communicate 
truth and grace to the disciples of Christ. And in his so 
doing he speaks not of himself; that is, of himself only. 
He comes not with any absolute new dispensation of truth 
or grace, distinct or different from that which is in and by 
the Lord Christ, and which they had heard from him. The 
Holy Spirit being promised unto the disciples, and all their 
work and duty being suspended on the accomplishment of 
that promise, whereas he is God, they might suppose that 


he would come with some absolute new dispensation of truth, 
so that what they had learned and received from Christ 
should pass away and be of no use unto them. To prevent 
any such apprehensions, he lets them know that the work 
he had to do, was only to carry on and build on the founda- 
tion which was laid in his person or doctrine, or the truth 
which he had revealed from the bosom of the Father. And, 1. 
this I take to be the meaning of that expression, "For he shall 
not speak of himself,' he shall reveal no other truth, commu- 
nicate no other grace, but what is in, from, and by, myself. 
This was the Holy Spirit to do, and this he did ; and hereby 
may we try every spirit whether it be of God. That Spirit 
which revealeth any thing, or pretendeth to reveal any thing, 
any doctrine, any grace, any truth, that is contrary unto, 
that is not consonant to, yea, that is not the doctrine, grace, 
or truth of Christ, as now revealed in the word ; that brings 
any thing new, his own, or of himself, that Spirit is not of 
God. So it is added, 2. ' Whatsoever he shall hear that shall 
he speak.' This which he hears, is the whole counsel of the 
Father and the Son, concerning the salvation of the church. 
And how is he said to ' hear it?' which word in its proper sig- 
nification hath no place in the mutual internal actings of the 
divine Persons of the Holy Trinity. Being the Spirit of the 
Father and the Son, proceeding from both, he is equally 
participant of their counsels. So the outward act of hear- 
ing is mentioned as the sign of his infinite knowledge of the 
eternal counsels of the Father and Son ; he is no stranger 
unto them. And this is a general rule, that those words 
which, with respect unto us, express the means of any thing, 
as applied unto God, intend no more but the signs of it. 
Hearing is the means whereby we come to know the mind 
of another who is distinct from us. And when God is said 
to hearken or hear, it is a sign of his knowledge, not the 
means of it. So is the Holy Spirit said to hear those things 
because he knows them. As he is also on the same account 
said to search the deep things of God. Add hereunto that 
the counsel of these things is originally peculiar to the Fa- 
ther, and unto him it is every where peculiarly ascribed ; 
therefore is the participation of the Spirit therein as a dis- 
tinct person called his hearing. Hereunto, 3. his great work 
is subjoined. ' He,' saith Christ, ' shall glorify me.' This is the 


design that he is sent upon ; this is the work that he comes 
to do, even as it was the design and work of Jesus Christ to 
glorify the Father by whom he was sent. And this are they 
always to bear in mind, who stand in need of, or pray for, his 
assistance in their work or office, in the church of God. He 
is given unto them, that through him they may give and 
bring glory to Jesus Christ. And, 4. how the Holy Spirit 
doth glorify the Lord Christ is also declared. ' He shall re- 
ceive of mine and shew it unto you ;' the communication of 
spiritual things from Christ by the Spirit, is here called his 
receiving of them; as the communication of the Spirit from 
the Father by the Lord Christ to his disciples, is called the 
' receiving of the promise.' The Spirit cannot receive any 
thing subjectively which he had not, as an addition unto 
him. It is therefore the economy of these things that is here 
intended. He is not said to receive them, as though before 
he had them not. For what can he who is God so receive? 
only when he begins to give them unto us, because they are 
peculiarly the things of Christ, he is said to receive them. 
For we can give nothing of another's, but what we receive of 
him. Good things are given unto us from Christ by the Spi- 
rit. For so it is added, ' and shall shew them unto you.' 
He shall make them known unto you ; so declare them, and 
manifestly evidence them to you, and in you, that you shall 
understand and have experience of them in yourselves ; shew 
them by revelation, instructing you in them, by communica- 
tion imparting them to you. And what are these things that 
he shall so declare ? They are ra Ifia, * my things/ saith our 
Saviour. The things of Christ may be referred unto two 
heads, his truth and his grace ; John i. 17. The first he shews 
by revelation, the latter by effectual communication. His 
truth he shewed unto them by revelation, as we have de- 
clared him to be the immediate author of all divine revela- 
tions. This he did unto the apostles by his inspirations, 
enabling them infallibly to receive, understand, and declare, 
the whole counsel of God in Christ. For so, according unto 
the promise, he led them into all truth. And his grace he 
shewed unto them in his pouring out both of his sanctifying 
graces and extraordinary gifts upon them in an abundant 
measure. And so he still continues to shew the truth and 
grace of Christ unto all believers, though not in the same 


manner as unto the former, nor unto the same degree as unto 
the latter. For he shews unto us the ' truth of Christ,' or the 
truth ' that came by Jesus Christ,' by the word as written and 
preached, instructing us in it, and enlightening our minds 
spiritually and savingly to understand the mind of God 
therein. And of his grace he imparts unto us in our sanc- 
tification, consolation, and communication of spiritual gifts, 
according unto the measure of the gift of Christ unto every 
one of us, as the present use of the church doth require, 
which things must be afterward declared. And the reason 
of the assertion is added in the last place. ' All things that 
the Father hath are mine; therefore, said I, that he shall 
take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.' Two things may 
be observed in these words. 1. The extent of the things of 
Christ, which are to be shewed unto believers by the Spirit; 
and they are ' all the things that the Father hath.' They are 
mine, saith our Saviour ; and these all things, may be taken 
either absolutely and personally, or with a restriction unto 
office. (1.) All things that the Father hath absolutely, were 
the Son's also. For receiving his personality from the Fa- 
ther, by the communication of the whole entire divine 
nature, all the things of the Father must needs be his. 
Thus as the Father hath life in himself, so he hath ' given 
unto the Son to have life in himself;' John v. 26. and the 
like may be said of all other essential properties of the God- 
head. But these seem not to be the all things here intended. 
They are not the all things of the divine nature which he 
had by eternal generation ; but the all things of spiritual 
grace and power which he had by voluntary donation ; Matt. 
xi. 27. John iii. 35. ' The Father loveth the Son, and hath 
given all things into his hand.' That is, all the effects of the 
love, grace, and will of the Father, whatever he had pur- 
posed in himself from eternity, and whatever his infinite 
power and goodness would produce in the pursuit thereof, 
was all given and committed unto Jesus Christ; so all 
things that the Father hath were his. 

2. That these things may be rightly understood and ap- 
prehended, we must consider a twofold operation of God 
as three in one. The first hereof is absolute in all divine 
works whatever ; the other respects the economy of the ope- 
rations of God in our salvation. In those of the first sort, 

in the new creation: 225 

both the working and the work, do in common and undi- 
videdly belong unto and proceed from each person. And 
the reason hereof is, because they are all effects of the es- 
sential properties of the same divine nature ; which is in 
them all, or rather which is the one nature of them all. But 
yet as they have one nature, so there is an order of subsist- 
ence in that nature, and the distinct persons work in the 
order of their subsistence; John v. 19,20. ' Verily, I say unto 
you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth 
the Father do ; for whatsoever things he doth, those also 
doth the Son likewise.' The Father doth not first work in 
order of time, and then the Son seeing of it, work another 
work like unto it. But the Son doth the same work that the 
Father doth. This is absolutely necessary, because of their 
union in nature. But yet in the order of their subsistence, 
the person of the Father is the original of all divine works, 
in the principle and beginning of them, and that in order of 
nature, antecedently unto the operation of the Son. Hence 
he is said to see what the Father doth ; which, according unto 
our former rule in the exposition of such expressions, when 
ascribed unto the divine nature, is the sign and evidence, and 
not the means, of his knowledge. He sees what the Father 
doth, as he is his eternal wisdom. The like must be said of 
the Holy Spirit, with respect both unto the Father and Son. 
And this order of operation in the holy Trinity is not vo- 
luntary, but natural and necessary from the one essence and 
distinct subsistences thereof. Secondly, There are those ope- 
rations, which, with respect unto our salvation, the Father, 
Son, and Holy Spirit, do graciously condescend unto, which 
are those treated of in this place. Now, though the design- 
ing of this work was absolutely voluntary, yet upon a sup- 
position thereof, the order of its accomplishment was made 
necessary from the order of the subsistence of the distinct 
persons in the Deity; and that is here declared. Thus, (1.) 
the things to be declared unto us, and bestowed on us, are 
originally the Father's things. He is the peculiar fountain 
of them all. His love, his grace, his wisdom, his goodness, 
his counsel, his will, is their supreme cause and spring. 
Hence are they said to be the things that the Father hath. 
(2.) They are made the things of the Son, that is, they are 
given and granted in and unto his disposal, on the account 



of his mediation : for thereby they were to be prepared for 
us, and given out unto us, to the glory of God. Answerable 
hereunto, as the Lord Christ is Mediator, all the things of 
grace are originally the Father's, and then given unto him. 
(3.) They are actually communicated unto us by. the Holy 
Spirit, ' Therefore, said I, he shall take of mine and shew unto 
you.' He doth not communicate them unto us immediately 
from the Father. We do not so receive any grace from God, 
that is, the Father; nor do we so make any return of praise 
or obedience unto God. We have nothing to do with the 
person of the Father immediately. It is by the Son alone 
by whom we have an access unto him, and by the Son alone 
that he gives out of his grace and bounty unto us. ' He 
that hath not the Son hath not the Father.' With him, as 
the great treasurer of heavenly things, are all grace and mercy 
intrusted. The Holy Spirit, therefore, shews them unto us, 
works them in us, bestows them on us, as they are the fruits 
of the mediation of Christ, and not merely as effects of the 
divine love and bounty of the Father; and this is required 
from the order of subsistence before mentioned. Thus the 
Holy Spirit supplies the bodily absence of Jesus Christ, and 
effects what he hath to do and accomplish towards his in 
the world ; so that whatever is done by him, it is the same 
as if it were wrought immediately by the Lord Christ him- 
self in his own person; whereby all his holy promises are 
fully accomplished towards them that believe. 

And this instructs us in the way and manner of that 
communion which we have with God by the gospel. For 
herein, the life, power, and freedom, of our evangelical state 
doth consist, and an acquaintance herewith, gives us our 
translation ' out of darkness into the marvellous light of 
God.' (1.) The person of the Father in his wisdom, will, 
and love, is the original of all grace and glory. But nothing 
hereof is communicated immediately unto us from him. It 
is the Son whom he loves, and hath given all things into his 
hand. He hath made way for the communication of these 
things unto us, unto the glory of God. And he doth it im- 
mediately by the Spirit, as hath been declared. Hereby are 
all our returns unto God to be regulated. The Father, who 
is the original of all grace and glory, is ultimately intended 
by us in our faith, thankfulness, and obedience; yet, not so, 


but that the Son and Spirit are considered as one God with 
him. But we cannot address ourselves with any of them 
immediately unto him. There is no ' going to the Father,' 
saith Christ, 'but by me;' John xiv. 6. 'Through him we 
believe in God ;' 1 Pet. i. 21. But yet neither can we do so, 
unless we are enabled thereunto by the Spirit, the author in 
us, of faith, prayer, praise, obedience, and whatever our souls 
tend unto God by. As the descending of God towards us 
in love and grace, issues ur ends in the work of the Spirit 
in us and on us; so all our ascending towards him begins 
therein. And as the first instance of the proceeding of 
of grace and love towards us, from the Father, is in and by 
the Son; so the first step that we take towards God, even 
the Father, is in and by the Son. And these things ought 
to be explicitly attended unto by us, if we intend our faith, 
and love, and duties of obedience, should be evangelical. 
Take an instance of the prayers of wicked men under their 
convictions, or their fears, troubles, and dangers ; and the 
prayers of believers. The former is merely Vox Natura cla- 
mantis ad Dominum Natura ; ' an outcry that distressed na- 
ture makes to the God of it,' and as such alone it consi- 
ders him. But the other is, Vox Spiritus adoptionis cla- 
mantis per Christum, Abba Pater; it is ' the voice of the Spi- 
rit of adoption addressing itself in the hearts of believers 
unto God, as a Father.' And a due attendance unto this 
order of things, gives life and spirit unto all that we have to 
do with God. Wo to professors of the gospel who shall 
be seduced to believe that all they have to do with God 
consists in their attendance unto moral virtue. It is fit for 
them so to do, who being weary of Christianity, have a mind 
to turn Pagans. But our fellowship is in the way described, 
' with the Father and his Son Christ Jesus.' It is therefore 
ofthe highest importance unto us, to inquire into, and se- 
cure unto ourselves, the promised workings of the Holy 
Spirit. For by them alone are the love of the Father, and 
the fruits of the mediation of the Son, communicated unto 
us, without which, we have no interest in them. And by 
them alone, are we enabled to make any acceptable returns 
of obedience unto God. It is sottish ignorance and infi- 
delity, to suppose that under the gospel there is no commu- 
nication between God and us, but what is on his part in 

q 2 


laws, commands, and promises ; and, on ours, by obedience 
performed in our own strength, and upon our convictions 
unto them. To exclude hence the real internal operations 
of the Holy Ghost, is to destroy the gospel. And as we 
shall see farther afterward, this is the true ground and rea- 
son why there is a sin against the Holy Spirit, that is irre- 
missible; for he coming unto us to make application of the 
love of the Father, and grace of the Son, unto our souls; in 
the contempt of him, there is a contempt of the whole act- 
ings of God towards us, in a way of grace, for which there 
can be no remedy. 

Fifthly, Whereas the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of grace, 
and the immediate efficient cause of all grace, and gracious 
effects in men ; wherever there is mention made of them, or 
any fruits of them, it is to be looked on as a part of his work, 
though he be not expressly named, or it be not particularly 
attributed unto him. I know not well, or do not well under- 
stand, what some men begin to talk about moral virtue ; 
something they seem to aim at (if they would once leave the 
old Pelagian ambiguous expressions, and learn to speak 
clearly and intelligibly), that is in their own power, and so 
consequently of all other men. At least it is so with an or- 
dinary blessing upon their own endeavours, which things 
we must afterward inquire into. But for grace, I think all 
men will grant, that, as to our participation of it, it is of the 
Holy Spirit, and of him alone. Now grace is taken two ways 
in the Scripture: 1. For the gracious free love and fa- 
vour of God towards us; and, 2. for gracious free effectual 
operations in us, and upon us. In both senses the Holy 
Spirit is the author of it, as unto us. In the first, as to its 
manifestation and application ; in the latter, as to the ope- 
ration itself. For although he be not the principal cause, 
nor procurer of grace in the first sense, which is the free 
act of the Father; yet the knowledge, sense, comfort, and 
all the fruits of it, are by him alone communicated unto us, 
as we shall see afterward. And the latter is his proper and 
peculiar work. This, therefore, must be taken for granted, 
that wherever any gracious actings of God, in or towards 
men, are mentioned, it is the Holy Spirit who is peculiarly 
and principally intended. 

Sixthly, It must be duly considered, with reference unto 


the whole work of the Holy Spirit, that in whatever he doth, 
he acts, works, and distributes, according to his oion will. 
This our apostle expressly affirmeth. And sundry things 
of great moment do depend hereon in our walking before 
God. As, 

1. That the will and pleasure of the Holy Spirit is in all the 
goodness, grace, love, and power, that he either communi- 
cates unto us, or worketh in us. He is not as a mere instru- 
ment or servant disposing of the things wherein he hath no 
concern, or over which he hath no power. But in all things 
he worketh towards us according to his own will. We are, 
therefore, in what we receive from him, and by him, no less 
to acknowledge his love, kindness, and sovereign grace, 
than we do to those of the Father and the Son. 

2. That he doth not work as a natural agent, ad ultimum 
virium, to the utmost of his power, as though in all he did, 
he came and did what he could. He moderates all his ope- 
rations by his will and wisdom. And therefore, whereas 
some are said to 'resist the Holy Spirit;' Acts vii. 51. and 
so to frustrate his work towards them, it is not because they 
can do so absolutely, but only they can do so as to some 
way, kind, or degree, of his operations. Men may resist 
some sort or kind of means that he useth, as to some cer- 
tain end and purpose ; but they cannot resist him as to his 
purpose and the end he aims at. For he is God, and 'who 
hath resisted his will V Rom. ix. 19. Wherefore, in any work 
of his, two things are to be considered : (1.) What the means 
he maketh use of tend unto in their own nature ; and, (2.) 
what he intends by it; the first may be resisted and frus- 
trated, but the latter cannot be so. Sometimes in and by 
that word, which in its own nature tends to the conversion of 
sinners, he intendeth by it only their hardening; Isa. vi. 9, 
10. John xii. 40, 41. Acts xviii. 26. Rom. xi. 8. And he can, 
when he pleaseth, exert that power and efficacy in working, 
as shall take away all resistance. Sometimes he will only 
take order for the preaching and dispensation of the word 
unto men ; for this also is his work ; Acts xiii. 2. Herein 
men may resist his work, and reject his counsel concerning 
themselves. But when he will put forth his power in and 
by the word, to the creating of a new heart in men, and the 
opening of the eyes of them that are blind, he doth therein 


so take away the principle of resistance, that he is not, that 
he cannot be resisted. 

3. Hence also it follows that his works may be of various 
kinds, and that those which are of the same kind may yet be 
carried on unequally as to degrees. It is so in the opera- 
tions of all voluntary agents, who work by choice and judg- 
ment. They are not confined to one sort of works, nor to 
the production of the same kind of effects ; and where they 
design so to do, they moderate them as to degrees according 
to their power and pleasure. Thus we shall find some of the 
works of the Holy Spirit to be such as may be perfect in 
their kind, and men may be made partakers of the whole 
end and intention of them, and yet no saving grace be 
wrought in them. Such are his works of illumination, convic- 
tion, and sundry others. Men, I say, may have a work of the 
Holy Spirit on their hearts and minds, and yet not be sancti- 
fied and converted unto God. For the nature and kind of 
his works are regulated by his own will and purpose ; if he 
intends no more but their conviction and illumination, no 
more shall be effected. For he works not by a necessity of 
nature, so that all his operations should be of the same kind, 
and have their especial form from his nature, and not from 
his will. So also where he doth work the same effect in the 
souls of men, I mean the same in the kind of it, as in their 
regeneration he doth ; yet he doth it by sundry means, and 
carrieth it on to a great inequality, as to the strengthening 
of its principle, and increase of its fruits unto holiness ; and 
hence is that great difference as to light, holiness, and fruit- 
fulness, which we find among believers, although all alike 
partakers of the same grace for the kind thereof. The Holy 
Spirit worketh in all these things according to his own will; 
whereof there neither is, nor can be, any other rule but his 
own infinite wisdom. And this is that which the apostle 
minds the Corinthians of, to take away all emulation and 
envy about spiritual gifts, that every one should orderly 
make use of what he had received to the profit and edifica- 
tion of others. They are, saith he, given and distributed 
by the same Spirit, according to his own will, to one after 
one manner, unto another after another ; so that it is an un- 
reasonable thing for any to contend about them. 

But it may be said, that if not only the working of grace 


in us, but also the effects and fruits of it, in all its variety of 
degrees, is to be ascribed unto the Holy Spirit, and his ope- 
rations in us, according to his own will, then do we signify 
nothing ourselves; nor is there any need that we should either 
use our endeavours and diligence, or at all take any care 
about the furtherance or growth of holiness in us, or attend 
unto any duties of obedience. To what end and purpose 
then serve all the commands, threatenings, promises, and ex- 
hortations, of the Scripture, which are openly designed to 
excite and draw forth our own endeavours? And this is in- 
deed the principal difficulty wherewith some men seek to en- 
tangle and perplex the grace of God. But I answer; 

1. Let men imagine what absurd consequences they 
please thereon, yet that the Spirit of God is the author and 
worker of all grace in us, and of all the degrees of it, of all 
that is spiritually good in us, is a truth which we must not 
forego, unless we intend to part with our Bibles also. For in 
them we are taught, ' that in us, that is, in our flesh, there 
dwelleth no good thing;' Rom. vii. 18. That 'we are not 
sufficient of ourselves to think any thing, as of ourselves, but 
our sufficiency is of God;' 2 Cor. iii. 5. 'Who is able to 
make all grace abound towards us, that we may always have 
all-sufficiency in all things abounding to every good work ;' 
chap. ix. 8. But ' without Christ we can do nothing ;' John 
xv. 5. ' For it is God which worketh in us, both to will and 
to do of his good pleasure;' Phil. ii. 13. To grant therefore 
that there is anj spiritual good in us, or any degree of it, 
that is not wrought in us by the Spirit of God, both over- 
throws the grace of the gospel, and denies God to be the 
only first, supreme, and chiefest good ; as also the imme- 
diate cause of what is so, which is to deny his very being. 
It is therefore certain, whatever any pretend, that nothing 
can hence ensue, but what is true, and good, and useful to 
the souls of men : for from truth, especially such great and 
important truths, nothing else will follow. 

2. It is brutish ignorance in any to argue, in the things of 
God, from the effectual operations of the Spirit, unto a sloth 
and negligence of our own duty. He that doth not know that 
God hath ' promised to work in us/ in a way of grace, what 
he requires from us in a way of duty, hath either never read 
the Bible, or doth not believe it, or never prayed, or never 


took notice of what he prayed for. He is a Heathen, he hath 
nothing of the Christian in him, who doth not pray that God 
would work in him what he requires of him. This we know, 
that what God commands and prescribes unto us, what he 
encourageth us unto, we ought with all diligence and ear- 
nestness, as we value our souls and their eternal welfare, to 
attend unto and comply withal. And we do know that what- 
ever God hath promised, that he will do himself in us, to- 
wards us, and upon us : it is our duty to believe that he will 
so do. And to fancy an inconsistency between these things, 
is to charge God foolishly. 

3. If there be an opposition between these things, it is 
either because the nature of man is not meet to be commanded, 
or because it needs not to be assisted. But that both these are 
false and vain suppositions, shall be afterward declared. 
The Holy Spirit so worketh in us, as that he worketh by us ; 
and what he doth in us, is done by us ; our duty it is to ap- 
ply ourselves unto his commands, according to the convic- 
tion of our minds ; and his work it is to enable us to per- 
form them. 

4. He that will indulge, or can do so, unto sloth and negli- 
gence in himself, on the account of the promised working of 
the Spirit of grace, may look upon it as an evidence, that he 
hath no interest or concern therein. For he ordinarily giveth 
not out his aids and assistances any where, but where he 
prepares the soul with diligence in duty. And whereas he 
acts us no otherwise but in and by the faculties of our own 
minds, it is ridiculous, and implies a contradiction, for a man 
to say he will do nothing, because the Spirit of God doth 
all; for where he doth nothing, the Spirit of God doth no- 
thing, unless it be merely in the infusion of the first habit 
or principle of grace, whereof we shall treat afterward. 

5. For degrees of grace and holiness which are inquired 
after, they are peculiar unto believers. Now these are fur- 
nished with an ability and power to attend unto and perform 
those duties, whereon the increase of grace and holiness doth 
depend. For although there is no grace, nor degree of grace 
or holiness, in believers, but what is wrought in them by 
the Spirit of God ; yet ordinarily and regularly the increase 
and growth of grace, and their thriving in holiness and righ- 
teousness, depend upon the use and improvement of grace 


received, in a diligent attendance unto all those duties of 
obedience which are required of us ; 2 Pet. i. 5 — 7. And 
methinks, it is the most unreasonable and sottish thing in 
the world, for a man to be slothful and negligent in attending 
unto those duties which God requireth of him, which all his 
spiritual growth depends upon, which the eternal welfare of 
his soul is concerned in, on pretence of the efficacious aids 
of the Spirit, without which he can do nothing, and which 
he neither hath, nor can have, whilst he doth nothing. 

Here lies the ground and foundation of our exercising faith 
in particular towards him, and of our acting of it in suppli- 
cations and thanksgivings. His participation of the divine 
nature is the formal reason of our yielding unto him divine 
and religious worship in general ; but his acting towards us 
according to the sovereignty of his own will, is the especial 
reason of our particular addresses unto him in the exercise 
of grace, for we are baptized into his name also. 

Seventhly, We may observe, that in the actings and works 
of the Holy Spirit, some things are distinctly and separately 
ascribed unto him, although some things be of the same kind 
wrought by the person in and by whom he acts ; or he is 
said at the same time, to do the same thing distinctly by him- 
self, and in and by others. So John xv. 26, 27. * I will/saith 
our Saviour, ' send the Spirit of truth, and he shall testify of 
me, and ye also shall bear witness.' The witness of the 
Spirit unto Christ is proposed as distinct and separate from 
the witness given by the apostles. He 'shall testify of me, 
and ye also shall bear witness.' And yet they also were en- 
abled to give their witness by him alone. So it is expressly 
declared, Acts i. 8. ' Ye shall receive power after that the 
Holy Spirit is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto 
me.' Their witnessing unto Christ was the effect of the 
power of the Holy Spirit upon them, and the effect of his 
work in them. And he himself gave no other testimony but 
in and by them. What then is the distinct testimony that 
is ascribed unto him ? It must be somewhat that, in or by 
whomsoever it was wrought, it did of its own nature disco- 
ver its relation unto him as his work. So it was in this mat- 
ter ; for it was no other but those signs and wonders, or mi- 
raculous effects which he wrought, in the confirmation of the 
testimony given by the apostles, all which clearly evidenced 


their own original. So our apostle ; Heb. ii. 4. The word 
was confirmed, "Evveiri/xapTvpovvTog tov Seov ari/ieioig re ko! 
repaai, ' God co-witnessing by signs and wonders.' He ena- 
bled the apostles to bear witness unto Christ by their preach- 
ing, sufferings, holiness, and constant testimony which they 
gave unto his resurrection. But in this he appeared not, he 
evidenced not himself unto the world, though he did so in 
and by them in whom he wrought. But moreover, he wrought 
such visible miraculous works by them, as evidenced them- 
selves to be effects of his power, and were his distinct wit- 
ness to Christ. So our apostle tells us, Rom. viii. 16. 'The 
Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits that we are the 
children of God.' The witness which our own spirits do give 
unto our adoption, is the work and effect of the Holy Spirit 
in us. If it were not, it would be false, and not confirmed 
by the testimony of the Spirit himself, who is the Spirit of 
truth. And none ' knoweth the things of God, but the Spirit 
of God;' 1 Cor. ii. 11. If he declare not our sonship in us, 
and to us, we cannot know it. How then doth he bear wit- 
ness with our spirits? What is his distinct testimony in this 
matter ? It must be some such act of his, as evidenceth itself 
to be from him immediately, unto them that are concerned 
in it, that is, those unto whom it is given. What this is in 
particular, and wherein it doth consist, we shall afterward 
inquire. So Rev. xxii. 17. 'The Spirit and the bride say, 
Come.' The bride is the church, and she prayeth for the 
coming of Christ. This she doth by his aid and assistance, 
who is the Spirit of grace and supplications. And yet dis- 
tinctly and separately the Spirit saith, Come ; that is, he puts 
forth such earnest and fervent desires, as have upon them 
an impression of his immediate efficiency. So ver. 20. car- 
rieth the sense of the place, namely, that it is Christ himself, 
unto whom she says, Come ; or they pray for the hastening of 
his coming. Or they say, Come, unto others, in their invita- 
tion of them unto Christ, as the end of ver. 17. seems to apply 
it. Then is it the prayers and preaching of the church for 
the conversion of souls that is intended. And with both the 
Spirit works eminently to make them effectual. Or it may 
be in this place, the Spirit is taken for the Spirit in the 
guides and leaders of the church. They, praying by his espe- 
cial guidance and assistance, say, Come ; or preachers say 


unto others, Come ; and the bride, or the body of the church, 
acted by the same Spirit, join with them in this great re- 
quest and supplication ; and thereunto all believers are in- 
vited in the following words ; and 'let him that heareth, say, 

All these things were necessary to be premised in gene- 
ral, as giving some insight into the nature of the operations 
of the Holy Spirit in us and towards us. And hereby we 
have made our way plain to the consideration of his especial 
works, in the calling, building, and carrying on the church 
unto perfection. Now all his works of this kind may be 
reduced unto three heads. 1. Of sanctifying grace. 2. Of 
especial gifts. 3. Of peculiar evangelical privileges. Only we 
must observe, that these things are not so distinguished, as 
to be negatively contradistinct to each other ; for the same 
thing under several considerations may be all these ; a 
grace, a gift, and a privilege. All that I intend is, to re- 
duce the operations of the Holy Spirit unto these heads, 
casting each of them under that which it is most eminent 
in, and as which it is most directly proposed unto us. And 
I shall begin with his work of grace. 






The new creation completed. Regeneration the especial work of the Holy 
Spirit. Wrought under the Old Testament, but clearly revealed in the 
new ; and is of the same kind in all that are regenerate. The causes 
and way of it being the same in all. It consisteth not in baptism alone ; 
nor in a moral reformation of life ; but a new creature is formed in it ; 
whose nature is declared, and farther explained. Denial of the original 
depravation of nature the cause of many noxious opinions. Regenera- 
tion consisteth not in enthusiastic raptures ; their nature and danger. 
The whole doctrine necessary, despised, corrupted, vindicated. 

We have formerly declared the work of the Holy Spirit in 
preparing and forming the natural body of Christ. This was 
the beo-inning; of the new creation, the foundation of the 
gospel-state and church. But this was not the whole of the 
work he had to do. As he had provided and prepared the 
natural body of Christ, so he was to prepare his mystical 
body also. And hereby the work of the new creation was to 
be completed and perfected. And as it was with respect 
unto him and his work in the old creation, so was it also in 
the new. All things in their first production had darkness 
and death upon them. For the earth was ' void and without 
form, and darkness was upon the face of the deep ;' Gen. i. 2. 
Neither was there any thing that had either life in it, or 
principle of life, or any disposition thereunto. In this con- 
dition he moved on the prepared matter, preserving and che- 
rishing of it, and communicating unto all things a principle 
of life whereby they were animated, as*we fhave declared. 
It was no otherwise in the new creation. There was a spi- 


ritual darkness and death came by sin on all mankind. Nei- 
ther was there in any man living the least principle of spi- 
ritual life, or any disposition thereunto. In this state of 
things the 1 Holy Spirit undertaketh to create a new world, 
new heavens, and a new earth, wherein righteousness should 
dwell. And this, in the first place, was by his effectual com- 
munication of a new principle of spiritual life unto the souls 
of God's elect, who were the matter designed of God for 
this work to be wrought upon. This he doth in their rege- 
neration, as we shall now manifest. 

First, Regeneration in Scripture is every where assigned 
to be the proper and peculiar ivork of the Holy Spirit. John 
iii. 3 — 6. 'Jesus answered and said unto Nicodemus, Verily, 
verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again he can- 
not see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, 
How can a man be born when he is old ; can he enter the 
second time into his mother's womb and be born ? Jesus 
answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be 
born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the 
kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh ; 
and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.' It was an # 
ancient knowing teacher of the church of the Jews, a master 
in Israel, whom our blessed Saviour here discourseth withal 
and instructs. For on the consideration of his miracles, he 
concluded that ' God was with him,' and came to inquire of 
him about the kingdom of God. Our Saviour knowing how 
all our faith and obedience to God, and all our acceptance 
with him, depended on our regeneration, or being born 
again, acquaints him with the necessity of it, wherewith he 
is at first surprised. Wherefore he proceeds to instruct him 
in the nature of the work, whose necessity he had declared. 
And this he describes both by the cause and the effect of it. 
For the cause of it he tells him, it is wrought by water and 
the Spirit. By the Spirit as the principal efficient cause ; 
and by water as the pledge, sign, and token a of it, in the 
initial seal of the covenant, the doctrine whereof was then 
preached amongst them by John the Baptist; or the same 
thing is intended in a redoubled expression, the Spirit being 

a Si in gratia, non ex natura aquse, sed ex prassentia est Spiritus Sancti : num- 
quid in aqua vivimus, sicut in Spiritu 1 numquid in aqua siguamur sicut in Spiritu ? 
Arabros. de Spirit. Sanct. lib. 1. cap. 6. 


signified by the water also, under which notion he is often 

Hereof then, or of this work, the Holy Spirit is the prin- 
cipal efficient cause ; whence he, in whom it is wrought, is 
said to be ' born of the Spirit ;' ver. 8. e so is every one that is 
born of the Spirit.' And this is the same with what is de- 
livered, chap. i. 13. * Who are born, not of blood, nor of the 
will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.' The 
natural and carnal means of blood, flesh, and the will of 
man, are rejected wholly in this matter, and the whole effi- 
ciency of the new birth, is ascribed unto God alone. His 
work answers whatever contribution there is unto natural 
generation, from the will and nature of man. For these 
things are here compared, and from its analogy unto natu- 
ral generation, is this work of the Spirit called regeneration ; 
so in this place is the allusion and opposition between these 
things expressed by our Saviour; ' That which is born of 
the flesh, is flesh 5 and that which is born of the Spirit, is 
spirit ;' ver. 6. And herein also we have a farther descrip- 
tion of this work of the Holy Spirit, by its effect, or the 
product of it; it is spirit, a new spiritual being, creature, 
nature, life, as shall be declared. And because there is in 
it a communication of a new spiritual life, it is called a 
vivification or quickening, with respect unto the state where- 
in all men are, before this work is wrought in them and on 
them, Eph. ii. 1. 5. which is the work of the Spirit alone ; for 
' it is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing;' 
John vi. 63. See Rom. viii. 9, 10. Titus iii. 4 — 6. where the 
same truth is declared and asserted. ' But after that the 
kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man ap- 
peared ; not by works of righteousness which we have done, 
but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of 
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he 
shed on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.' 

What we have frequently mentioned, occurreth here ex- 
pressly; namely, the whole blessed Trinity, and each person 
therein acting distinctly in the work of our salvation. The 
spring or fountain of the whole lieth in the kindness and 
love of God, even the Father. Thereunto it is every where 
ascribed in the Scripture: see John iii. 16. Eph. i. 4 — 6. 
Whatever is done in the accomplishment of this work, it is 


so in the pursuit of his will, purpose, and counsel ; and is an 
effect of his love and grace. The procuring cause of the 
application of the love and kindness of God unto us, is Je- 
sus Christ our Saviour, in the whole work of his mediation ; 
ver. 6. and the immediate efficient cause in the communi- 
cation of the love and kindness of the Father, through the 
mediation of the Son unto us, is the Holy Spirit. And this 
he doth in the renovation of our natures, by the washing of 
regeneration, wherein we are purged from our sins, and sanc- 
tified unto God. 

More testimonies unto this purpose, need not be in- 
sisted on. This truth, of the Holy Spirit being the author 
of our regeneration, which the ancients esteemed a cogent 
argument to prove his Deity, even from the greatness and 
dignity of the work b , is in words at least, so far as I know, 
pranted by all who pretend to sobriety in Christianity. That 
by some others it hath been derided and exploded, is the 
occasion of this vindication of it. It must not be expected, 
that I should here handle the whole doctrine of regeneration 
practically, as it may be educed by inferences from the Scrip- 
ture, according to the analogy of faith, and the experiences 
of them that believe ; it hath been done already by others. 
My present aim is, only to confirm the fundamental prin- 
ciples of truth concerning those operations of the Holy 
Spirit, which, at this day, are opposed with violence and vi- 
rulence. And what I shall offer on the present subject, 
may be reduced unto the ensuing heads : 

1. Although the work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit 
was wrought under the Old Testament, even from the foun- 
dation of the world ; and the doctrine of it was recorded in 
the Scriptures, yet the revelation of it was but obscure, in 
comparison of that light and evidence which it is brought 

b Similiter ex Spiritu secundum gratiam nos renasci, Dominus ipse testatur di- 
cens ; quod natum est ex came, caro est, quia de came natum est ; et quod natum 
est de Spiritu, Spiritus est, quia Spiritus Deus est. Claret igitur spirituals quoque 
generationis authorem esse Spiritum Sanctum, quia secundum Deum creamur et Fi- 
lii Dei simus. Ergo cum ille nos in regnum suura per adoptionem sacrae regenera- 
tionis assumpserit, nos ei quod suumest denegamus'? ille nos supernas generationis 
haeredes fecit, nos haereditatem vindicamus, refutamus authorem : sed non potest 
manere beneficium cum author excluditur ; nee author sine munere, nee sine au- 
thore ruunus. Si vindicas gratiam, ciede potentiam ; si refutas potentiam, gratiam 
ne requiras. Sancti igitur Spiritus opus est regeneratio ista praestantior, et novi 
hujus hominis qui creatur ad imaginem Dei author est Spiritus, quem utique meliorem 
hoc exteriori esse nostro homine nemo dubitaverit. Ambros. de Sp. San. lib. 2. cap. 9. 


forth into by the gospel. This is evident from the discourse 
which our blessed Saviour had with Nicodemus on this sub- 
ject. For when he acquainted him clearly with the doc- 
trine of it, he was surprised, and fell into that inquiry which 
argued some amazement ; ' How can these things be ?' But 
yet, the reply of our Saviour manifests, that he might have 
attained a better acquaintance with it out of the Scripture, 
than he had done. ' Art thou,' saith he, ' a master in Israel, 
and knowest not these things V Dost thou take upon thee 
to teach others, what is their state and condition, and what 
is their duty towards God, and art ignorant thyself of so 
great and fundamental a doctrine, which thou mightest have 
learned from the Scripture ? For, if he might not so have 
done, there would have been no just cause of the reproof 
given him by our Saviour. For it was neither crime nor 
negligence in him, to be ignorant of what God had not re- 
vealed. This doctrine, therefore, namely, That every one 
who will enter into the kingdom of God, must be born again 
of the Holy Spirit, was contained in the writings of the Old 
Testament. It was so in the promises, * That God would 
circumcise the hearts of his people, that he would take away 
their heart of stone, and give them a heart of flesh, with his 
law written in it,' and other ways as shall be afterward 

But, yet we see, that it was so obscurely declared, that 
the principal masters and teachers of the people, knew little 
or nothing of it. Some, indeed, would have this regenera- 
tion, if they knew what they would have, or, as to what may 
be gathered of their minds, out of their great swelling words 
of vanity, to be nothing but reformation of life, according 
to the rules of the Scripture. But Nicodemus knew the ne- 
cessity of reformation of life well enough, if he had ever 
read either Moses or the prophets. And to suppose that 
our Lord Jesus Christ proposed unto him the thing which 
he knew perfectly well, only under a new name or notion 
which he had never heard of before' : so to take an advan- 
tage of charging him with being ignorant of what indeed he 
full well knew and understood, is a blasphemous imagina- 
tion. How they can free themselves from the guilt hereof, 
who look on regeneration as no more but a metaphorical ex- 
pression of amendment of life, I know not. And if it be so, 


if there be no more in it, but as they love to speak, becom- 
ing a new moral man, a thing which all the world, Jews and 
Gentiles understood ; our Lord Jesus was so far from bring- 
ing it forth into more light, and giving it more perspicuity, 
by what he teacheth concerning regeneration, the nature, 
manner, causes, and effects of it, that he cast it thereby into 
more darkness and obscurity, than ever it was delivered in, 
either by Jewish masters, or Gentile philosophy. For, al- 
though the gospel do really teach all duties of morality with 
more exactness and clearness, and press unto the observance 
of them, on motives incomparably more cogent than any 
thins: that otherwise ever befel the mind of man to think or 
apprehend; yet, if it must be supposed to intend nothing 
else in its doctrine of the new birth or regeneration, but 
those moral duties and their observance, it is dark and un- 
intelligible ; I say, if there be not a secret mysterious work 
of the Spirit of God, in and upon the souls of men, intended 
in the writings of the New Testament, but only a reforma- 
tion of life, and the improvement of men's natural abilities in 
the exercise of moral virtue, through the application of out- 
ward means unto their minds and understandings, conduct- 
ing and persuading thereunto; they must be granted to be 
obscure, beyond those of any other writers whatsoever, as 
some have not feared already to publish unto the world con- 
cerning the Epistles of Paul. But so long as we can obtain 
an acknowledgment from men, that they are true, and in any 
sense the word of God, we doubt not but to evince, that the 
things intended in them, are clearly and properly expressed, 
so as they ought to be, and so as they are capable to be ex- 
pressed : the difficulties which seem to be in them, arising 
from the mysterious nature of the things themselves con- 
tained in them, and the weakness of our minds in apprehend- 
ing such things, and not from any obscurity or intricacy in 
the declaration of them. And herein, indeed, consists the 
main contest whereunto things with the most are reduced. 
Some judge that all things are so expressed in the Scripture, 
with a condescension unto our capacity, so as that there is 
still to be conceived an inexpressible grandeur in many of 
them beyond our comprehension. Others judge on the 
other hand, that under a grandeur of words and hyperbolical 
expressions, things of a meaner and a lower sense are in- 



tended, and to be understood. Some judge the things of 
the gospel to be deep and mysterious, the words and ex- 
pressions of it to be plain and proper: others think the 
words and expressions of it to be mystical and figurative, 
but the things intended to be ordinary and obvious to the 
natural reason of every man. But to return. 

Both regeneration and the doctrine of it were under the 
Old Testament. All the elect of God, in their several gene- 
rations, were all regenerate by the Spirit of God. But in 
that ampliation and enlargement of truth and grace under 
the gospel, which came by Jesus Christ, who brought life 
and immortality to light, as more persons than of old were 
to be made partakers of the mercy of it, so the nature of 
the work itself is far more clearly, evidently, and distinctly 
revealed and declared. And because this is the principal 
and internal remedy of that disease which the Lord Christ 
came to cure and take away, one of the first things that he 
preached was the doctrine of it. All things of this nature 
before, even from the beginning of the world, lay hid in 
God; Eph. iii. 9. Some intimations were given of them in 
'parables and dark sayings,' E3"ip >3Q nnTT, Psal. lxxviii. 2. 
in types, shadows, and ceremonies, so as the nature of the 
grace in them was not clearly to be discerned. But now 
when the great physician of our souls came, who was to 
heal the wound of our natures, whence we ' were dead in 
trespasses and sins/ he lays naked the disease itself, de- 
clares the greatness of it, the ruin we were under from it, 
that we might know and be thankful for its reparation. 
Hence no doctrine is more fully and plainly declared in the 
gospel, than this of our regeneration by the effectual and 
ineffable operation of the Holy Spirit. And it is a conse- 
quent and fruit of the depravation of our nature, that against 
the full light and evidence of truth now clearly manifested, 
this great and holy work is opposed and despised. 

Few, indeed, have yet the confidence in plain and intel- 
ligible words to deny it absolutely. But many tread in the 
steps of him who first in the church of God undertook to 
undermine it c . This was Pelagius, whose principal artifice, 

c Deniquc quomodo respondeat advertite, et videte latebras ambiguitatis falsitati 
prasparare refugia,ita utetiarunoscum primum ea legimus, recta vel correcta prope- 
modum gauderemus. August, de Peccat. Orig. cap. 18. 

Mini pene persuaseiit hanc ilium gratiam de qua quaestio est confitcri ; quo mi- 


which, he used in the introduction of his heresy, was in the 
clouding of his intentions with general and ambiguous ex- 
pressions, as some would be making use of his very words 
and phrases. Hence, for a long time, when he was justly 
charged with his sacrilegious errors, he made no defence of 
them, but reviled his adversaries as corrupting his mind, 
and not understanding his expressions. And by this means 
as he got himself acquitted in the judgments of some, less 
experienced in the sleights and cunning craftiness of them 
who lie in wait to deceive ; and d juridically freed in an as- 
sembly of bishops; so in all probability he had suddenly 
infected the whole church with the poison of those opi- 
nions which the proud and corrupted nature of man is so 
apt to receive and embrace, if God had not stirred up some 
few holy and learned persons, Austin especially, to discover 
his frauds, to refel his calumnies, and confute his sophisms; 
which they did with indefatigable industry and good suc- 
cess. But yet these tares being once sown by the envious 
one, found such a suitable and fruitful soil in the darkened 
minds and proud hearts of men, that from that day to this 
they could never be fully extirpated ; but the same bitter 
root hath still sprung up unto the defiling of many, though 
various new colours have been put upon its leaves and fruit. 
And although those who at present amongst us have under- 
taken the same cause with Pelagius, do not equal hirn either 
in learning or diligence, or an appearance of piety and devo- 
tion, yet do they exactly imitate him in declaring their minds 
in cloudy ambiguous expressions, capable of various con- 
structions until they are fully examined, and thereon re- 
proaching (as he did) those that oppose them as not aright 
representing their sentiments, when they judge it their ad- 

nus in raultis ejus opusculi locis sibiipsi contradicere videretur. Sed cum in manus 
nieas et alia venissent quae posterius latiusque scripsit, vidi quemadraodum etiani 
illic gratiam nominare sed ambigua generalitate quid sentiret abscondens, gratiae 
tamen vocabulo frangens invidiam, ofl'ensionemque declinans. Id. de Grat. Christ, 
lib. 1. cap. 37. 

Vid. August, lib. 1. cont. Julianum, cap. 5. lib. 3. cap. 1. lib. de gest. Pelag. 
cap. 30. epist. 95. ad Innocent. Epist. Innocent, ad August. 

Negant etiam quam ad sacram Christi virginem Nemchiadem in oriente conscrip- 
simus.et noverint nos ita hominis laudare naturam ut Dei semper addamus auxilium 
(verba Pelagii quibus respondet Augustinus), istam sane lege, mihique pene persua- 
serat, banc illarn gratiam de qua qua; queestio est confiteri. Id. ubi supra. 

d Fefellit judicium Palaestinum propterea ibi videtur purgatus; Roraanam vero 
ecclesiam, ubi cum esse notissimum scitis fallere usque quaque non potuit, quamvis 
et hoc fuerit utruiuque conatus. Tanto judices fefellit occultius, quanto expouit 
ista versutius. August, lib. de peccat. Orig. cap. 16. 

* 2 


vantage so to do, as the scurrilous clamorous writings of 
S. P. do sufficiently manifest. 

Secondly, Regeneration by the Holy Spirit is the same 
work, for the kind of it, and wrought by the same power of 
the Spirit in all that are regenerate, or ever were, or shall be 
so, from the beginning of the world unto the end thereof. 
Great variety there is in the application of the outward 
means, which the Holy Spirit is pleased to use and make 
effectual towards the accomplishment of this great work. 
Nor can the ways and manner hereof be reduced unto any 
certain order. For the Spirit worketh how and when he 
pleaseth, following the sole rule of his own will and wisdom. 
Mostly, God makes use of the preaching of the word, thence 
called an ' ingrafted word, which is able to save our souls ;' 
James i. 21. and the incorruptible seed, by which we are 
born again; 1 Pet. i. 21. Sometimes it is wrought without 
it; as in all those who are regenerate before they come to 
the use of reason, or in their infancy. Sometimes men are 
called, and so regenerate, in an extraordinary manner, as was 
Paul ; but mostly they are so in and by the use of ordinary 
means, instituted, blessed, and sanctified of God to that end 
and purpose. And great variety there is also in the percep- 
tion and understanding of the work itself, in them in whom it 
is wrought. For in itself it is secret and hidden, and is no 
other ways discoverable but in its causes and effects. For as 
' the wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound 
thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, nor whither it 
goeth ; so is every one that is born of the Spirit;' John iii. 8. 

In the minds and consciences of some this is made known 
by infallible signs and tokens. Paul knew that Christ was 
formed and revealed in himself; Gal. i. 16. So he declared 
that whoever is in Christ Jesus ' is a new creature ;' 2 Cor. v. 
17. that is, is born again, whether they know themselves so 
to be or no. And many are in the dark, as to their own 
condition in this matter, all their days ; for they 'fear the 
Lord, and obey the voice of his servant (Christ Jesus), and 
yet walk in darkness and have no light;' Isa. 1. 10. They 
are ' children of light;' Luke xvi. 8. John xii. 36. Eph. v. 8. 
1 Thess. v. 5. and yet ' walk in darkness and have no light ;' 
which expressions have been well used and improved by 
some, and by others of late derided and blasphemed. 


And there is great variety in the carrying on of this work 
towards perfection, in the growth of the new creature, or the 
increase of grace, implanted in our natures by it : for some, 
through the supplies of the Spirit, make a great and speedy 
progress towards perfection ; others thrive slowly, and bring 
forth little fruit ; the causes and occasions whereof are not 
here to be enumerated. But notwithstanding all differences 
in previous dispositions, in the application of outward means 
in the manner of it, ordinary or extraordinary, in the con- 
sequents of much or less fruit, the work itself, in its own 
nature, is of the same kind, one and the same. The elect of 
God were not regenerate one way, by one kind of operation 
of the Holy Spirit, under the Old Testament, and those 
under the New Testament another. They who were mira- 
culously converted, as Paul, or who upon their conversion 
had miraculous gifts bestowed on them, as had multitudes 
of the primitive Christians, were no otherwise regenerate, 
nor by any other internal efficiency of the Holy Spirit, than 
every one is at this day, who is really made partaker of this 
grace and privilege. Neither were those miraculous ope- 
rations of the Holy Spirit, which were visible unto others, 
any part of the work of regeneration, nor did they belong 
necessarily unto it. For many were the subjects of them, and 
received miraculous gifts by them, who were never regenerate ; 
and many were regenerate who were never partakers of them. 
And it is a fruit of the highest ignorance and unacquainted- 
ness imaginable with these things, to affirm that in the work 
of regeneration, the Holy Spirit wrought of old miraculously, 
in and by outwardly visible operations, but now only in a 
human and rational way, leading our understanding by the 
rules of reason, unless the mere external mode and sign of 
his operation be intended. For all ever were and ever shall 
be regenerate by the same kind of operation, and the same 
effect of the Holy Spirit on the faculties of their souls. 
Which will be farther manifest if we consider : 

1. That the condition of all men as unregenerate is ab- 
solutely the same. One is not by nature more unregenerate 
than another. All men since the fall, and the corruption of 
our nature by sin, are in the same state and condition to- 
wards God. They are all alike alienated from him, and all 
alike under his curse ; Psal. li. 5. John iii. 5. 36. Rom. iii. 19. 
v. 15 — 18. Eph. ii. 3. Tit. iii. 3, 4. There are degrees of 


wickedness in them that are unregenerate ; but there is no 
difference as to state and condition between them, all are 
unregenerate alike. As amongst those who are regenerate, 
there are different degrees of holiness and righteousness, 
one, it may be, far exceeding another ; yet there is between 
them no difference of state and condition, they are all 
equally regenerate. Yea, some may be in a greater forward- 
ness and preparation for the work itself, and thereby in a 
greater nearness to the state of it than others ; but the state 
itself is incapable of such degrees. Now it must be the same 
work for the kind and nature of it, which relieves and trans- 
lates men out of the same state and condition. That which 
gives the formal reason of the change of their state, of their 
translation from death to life, is and must be the same in all. 
If you can fix on any man from the foundation of the world, 
who was not equally born in sin, and by nature dead in tres- 
passes and sins, with all other men, the man Christ Jesus 
only excepted, I would grant that he might have another 
kind of regeneration than others have, but that I know he 
would stand in need of none at all. 

2- The state ivhereinto men are brought by regeneration is the 
same. Nor is it, in its essence or nature, capable of degrees, 
so that one should be more regenerate than another. Every 
one that is born of God is equally so, though one may be 
more beautiful than another, as having the image of his hea- 
venly Father more evidently impressed on him, though not 
more truly. Men may be more or less holy, more or less 
sanctified ; but they cannot be more or less regenerate. All 
children that are born into the world, are equally born, 
though some quickly outstrip others in the perfections and 
accomplishments of nature. And all born of God are equally 
so, though some speedily out-go others in the accomplish- 
ments and perfections of grace. There was then never but 
one kind of regeneration in this world, the essential form of 
it being specifically the same in all. 

3. That the efficient cause of this work, the grace and 
power whereby it is wrought, with the internal manner of the 
communication of that grace, are the same, shall be after- 
ward declared. To this standard then all must come. Men 
may bear themselves high, and despise this whole work of 
the Spirit of God, or set up an imagination of their own in 
the room thereof; but whether they will or no, they must be 


tried by it ; and no less depends on their interest in it, than 
their admission into the kingdom of God. And let them 
pretend what they please, the true reason why any despise 
the new birth, is, because they hate a new life. He that can- 
not endure to live to God, will as little endure to hear of 
being born of God. But we shall by the Scripture inquire 
what we are taught concerning it, and declare both what it 
is not, of things which falsely pretend thereunto, and then 
what it is indeed. 

First, Regeneration doth not consist in a participation of 
the ordinance of baptism, and a profession of the doctrine of 
repentance. This is all that some will allow unto it, to the 
utter rejection and overthrow of the grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ. For the dispute in this matter is not whether the or- 
dinances of the gospel, as baptism, do really communicate 
internal grace unto them, that are, as to their outward man- 
ner of their administration, duly made partakers of them, 
whether ex opere operato, as the Papists speak, or as & federal 
means of the conveyance and communication of that grace 
which they betoken and are the pledges of; but whether the 
outward susception of the ordinance, joined with a profes- 
sion of repentance in them that are adult, be not the whole 
of what is called regeneration. The vanity of this presump- 
tuous folly, destructive of all the grace of the gospel, in- 
vented to countenance men in their sins, and to hide from 
them the necessity of being born again, and therein of turn- 
ing unto God, will be laid open in our declaration of the na- 
ture of the work itself. For the present, the ensuing reasons 
will serve to remove it out of our way. 

1. Regeneration doth not consist in these things which 
are only outward signs and tokens of it, or at most, instituted 
means of effecting it. For the nature of things is different 
and distinct from the means, and evidences or pledges of 
them. But such only is baptism, with the profession of the 
doctrine of it, as is acknowledged by all who have treated of 
the nature of that sacrament. 2. The apostle Peter really 
states this case, 1 Pet. iii. 21. 'In answer whereunto, even 
baptism doth also now save us ; not the putting away of the 
filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience to- 
wards God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.' The out- 
ward administration of this ordinance considered materially, 


reacheth no farther, but to the washing away of the filth of 
the flesh, but more is signified thereby. There is denoted 
in it the astipulation of a good conscience unto God, by the 
resurrection of Christ from the dead, or a ' conscience purged 
from dead works to serve the living God;' Heb. ix. 14. and 
quickened by virtue of his resurrection unto holy obedience ; 
see Rom. vi. 3 — 7. 3. The apostle Paul doth plainly distin- 
guish between the outward ordinances, with what belongs 
unto a due participation of them, and the work of regenera- 
tion itself ; Gal. vi. 15. ' In Jesus Christ neither circumcision 
availeth anything, nor uncircumcision availeth any thing, but 
a new creature.' For as by circumcision the whole system of 
Mosaical ordinances is intended, so the state of uncircum- 
cision, as then it was in the professing Gentiles, supposed a 
participation of all the ordinances of the gospel. But from them 
all he distinguisheth the new creation, as that which they may 
be without, and whichbeing so, they are not available in Christ 
Jesus. 4. If this were so, then all that are duly baptized, and 
do thereon make profession of the doctrine of it, that is, of 
repentance for the forgiveness of sins, must of necessity be re- 
generate. But this we know to be otherwise. For instance ; 
Simon the magician was rightly and duly baptized, for he 
was so by Philip the evangelist; which he could not be with- 
out a profession of faith and repentance ; accordingly, it is 
said that ' he believed ;' Acts viii. 13. that is, made a profes- 
sion of his faith in the gospel. Yet he was not regenerate, 
for at the same time he had no part or lot in that matter, his 
heart not being right in the sight of God, but was in the ' gall 
of bitterness, and bond of iniquity ;' ver. 21. 23. which is not 
the description of a person newly regenerate and born again. 
Hence the cabbalistical Jews, who grope in darkness after 
the old notions of truth that were among their forefathers, 
do say, that at the same instant wherein a man is made ' a 
proselyte of righteousness,' there comes a new soul into him 
from heaven, his old Pagan soul vanishing or being taken 
away. The introduction of a new spiritual principle, to be 
that unto the soul which the soul is unto the body naturally, 
is that which they understand, or they choose thus to express 
the reiterated promise of taking away the ' heart of stone,' 
and giving a heart of flesh in the place of it. 

Secondly, Regeneration doth not consist in a moral re- 


formation of life and conversation. Let us suppose such a 
reformation to be extensive unto all known instances. Sup- 
pose a man be changed from sensuality into temperance, 
from rapine to righteousness, from pride and the dominion 
of irregular passions, unto humility and moderation, with all 
instances of the like nature which we can imagine, or are 
prescribed in the rules of the strictest moralists. Suppose 
this change be laboured, exact, and accurate, and so of great 
use in the world. Suppose also that a man hath been brought 
and persuaded unto it, through the preaching of the gospel, 
so escaping ' the pollutions that are in the world through 
lust, even by the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ,' or the directions of his doctrine delivered in the gos- 
pel ; yet, I say, all this, and all this added unto baptism, ac- 
companied with a profession of faith and repentance, is not 
regeneration, nor do they comprise it in them. And I have 
extended this assertion beyond what some among us, so far 
as I can see, do so much as pretend unto, in their confused 
notions and sophistical expressions about morality, when 
they make it the same with grace. But whatever there may 
be of actual righteousness in these things, they do not ex- 
press an inherent habitual righteousness, which whosoever 
denies, overthrows the gospel, and all the whole work of 
the Spirit of God, and of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
But we must stay a while. This assertion of ours is by 
some not only denied but derided. Neither is that all, but 
whoever maintains it, is exposed as an enemy to morality, 
righteousness, and reformation of life. All virtue, they say, 
is hereby excluded, to introduce, I know not what imaginary 
godliness. But whether we oppose or exclude moral virtue 
or no, by the doctrine of regeneration or any other, God 
and Christ will in due time judge and declare. Yea, were 
the confession of the truth consistent with their interests, 
the decision of this doubt might be referred unto their own 
consciences. But being not free to commit any thing to 
that tribunal, unless we had better security of its freedom 
from corrupt principles and prejudices than we have, we 
shall at present leave all the world to judge of our doctrine, 
with respect unto virtue and morality, by the fruits of it, 
compared with theirs, by whom it is denied. In the mean 
time we affirm that we design nothing in virtue and morality, 


but to improve them by fixing them on a proper foundation, 
or ingrafting them into that stock whereon alone they will 
thrive and grow to the glory of God, and the good of the 
souls of men ; neither shall we be moved in this design by 
the clamorous or calumnious outcries of ignorant or profli- 
gate persons. And for the assertion laid down, I desire that 
those who despise and reproach it, would attempt an answer 
unto the ensuing arguments whereby it is confirmed ; with 
those other which shall be insisted on in our description of 
the nature of the work of regeneration itself; and that upon 
such grounds and principles as are not destructive of Chris- 
tian religion, nor introductive of atheism, before they are 
too confident of their success. 

If there be in, and required unto, regeneration, the e infu- 
sion of a new, real, spiritual principle into the soul and its fa- 
culties, of spiritual life, light, holiness, and righteousness, 
disposed unto, and suited for, the destruction or expulsion 
of a contrary, inbred, habitual principle of sin and enmity 
against God, enabling unto all acts of holy obedience, and 
so in order of nature antecedent unto them; then it doth 
not consist in a mere reformation of life and moral virtue, be 
they never so exact or accurate. Three things are to be ob- 
served for the clearing of this assertion, before we come to 
the proof and confirmation of it. As, 1. That this reforma- 
tion of life, which we say is not regeneration, or that regene- 
ration doth not consist therein, is a necessary duty, indispen- 
sably required of all men. For we shall take it here for the 
whole course of actual obedience unto God, and that accord- 
ing to the gospel. Those indeed by whom it is urged and 
pressed in the room of regeneration, or as that wherein re- 
generation doth consist, do give such an account and descrip- 
tion of it, as that it is, or at least may be, foreign unto true 

e Per inhaerentem justitiam intelligimus supernaturale donum gratiag sanctificantis, 
oppositum originali peccato, el in singulis animal facullatibus reparans et renovans 
illam Dei imaginem, quce per peccatum originale foedata ac dissipata fuit. Originale 
peccatuni mentem tenebris implevit, hasc infusa gratia lumine cselesti collustrat. Is- 
tud, cor humanum obstinatione et odio Dei ac divinas legis raaculavit, haec infusa 
justitia cor emollit et amore boni accendit et inflainmat. Postremo illud affectus 
omnes atque ipsum appetitum rebellione infecit; haec renovata sanctitas in ordinem 
cogit perturbatas affectiones, et ipsam rebelleni concupiscentiam dominio spoliat, et 
quasi sub jugum mittit. Davenant. de Justit. Habit, cap. 3. 

Fides tanquam radix imbre suscepto haeret in animrc solo ; ut cum per legem Dei 
excoli coeperit surgant in ea rami qui fructus operum ferant. Non ergo ex operibus 
radix justitia?, sed exradice justitia) fructus operum crescit. Origen. lib. 4. in Epist. 
ad Roman. 


gospel-obedience, and so not contain in it one acceptable 
duty unto God, as shall afterward be declared. But here I 
shall take it in our present inquiry, for that whole course of 
duties, which in obedience towards God, are prescribed unto 
us. 2. That the principle before described, wherein rege- 
neration, as passively considered, or as wrought in us, consists, 
doth always certainly and infallibly produce the reformation 
of life intended. In some it doth it more completely, in 
others more imperfectly, in all sincerely. For the same 
grace in nature and kind is communicated unto several per- 
sons in various degrees, and is by them used and improved 
with more or less care and diligence. In those therefore 
that are adult, these things are inseparable. Therefore, 3. 
the difference in this matter cometh unto this head ; we say 
and believe that regeneration consists in spirituali renovatione 
natura; 'in a spiritual renovation of our nature :' our modern 
Socinians, that it doth so, in morali reformatione vita, ' in a 
moral reformation of life.' Now as we grant that this spiri- 
tual renovation of nature will infallibly produce a moral re- 
formation of life ; so if they will grant that this moral refor- 
mation of life doth proceed from a spiritual renovation of 
our nature, this difference will be at an end. And this is that 
which the ancients intend by first receiving the Holy Ghost, 
and then all graces with him f . However if they only design 
to speak ambiguously, improperly, and unscripturally, con- 
founding effects and their causes, habits and actions, facul- 
ties or powers and occasional acts, infused principles and 
acquired habits, spiritual and moral, grace and nature, that 
they may take an opportunity to rail at others for want of 
better advantage, I shall not contend with them. For allow 
a new spiritual principle, an infused habit of grace, or gra- 
cious abilities to be required in and unto regeneration, or to 
be the product or the work of the Spirit therein, that which 
is 'born of the Spirit being spirit/ and this part of the nature 
of this work is sufficiently cleared. Now this the Scripture 
abundantly testifieth unto. 

f Is qui Spiritus Sancti particeps efficitur, per communionem ejus sit spiritualis pa- 
riter ct sanctus. Didym. lib. 1. de Sp. Sanct. p. 218. inter opera Hieron^ ltd. 

Qui Spiritu Sancto plenus est statimuniversis donationibus Dei repletur, sapientia, 
Bcientia, fide caeterisque virtutibus. Id. ibid. 

Nunquam enini accipit quisquam spirituales benedictiones Dei, nisi prrccesserit 
Spiritus Sanctus ; qui enim habet Spirituni Sanctum conscqucnter habebit benedic- 
tiones. Idem. p. 220. 


2 Cor. v. 17. ' If any man be in Christ he is a new crea- 
ture.' This new creature is that which is intended, that 
which was before described, which being born of the Spirit 
is spirit. This is produced in the souls of men by a creat- 
ing act of the power of Gods, or it is not a creature ; and it 
is superinduced into the essential faculties of our souls, or 
it is not a new creature ; for whatever is in the soul, of power, 
disposition, ability, or inclination unto God, or for any mo- 
ral actions, by nature, it belongs unto the old creation, it is 
no new creature. And it must be somewhat that hath a 
being and subsistence of its own in the soul, or it can be 
neither new nor a creature. And by our apostle it is op- 
posed to all outward privileges ; Gal. v. 6. vi. 15. That the 
production of it also is by a creating act of almighty power 
the Scripture testifieth ; Psal. li. 10. Eph. ii. 10. And this 
can denote nothing but a new spiritual principle or nature 
wrought in us by the Spirit of God. No, say some, a new 
creature is no more but a changed man ; it is true, but then 
this change is internal also ; yes, in the purposes, designs, 
and inclinations of the mind : but is it by a real infusion of 
a new principle of spiritual life and holiness? No, it denotes 
no more but a new course of conversation ; only the expres- 
sion is metaphorical, a new creature is a moral man, that 
hath changed his course or way. For if he were always a 
moral man, that he was never in any vicious way or course, 
as it was with him, Matt. xix. 18 — 20. then he was always a 
new creature. This is good gospel, at once overthrowing 
original sin, and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. This 
doctrine I am sure was not learned from the fathers, whereof 
some used to boast : nay, it is much more fulsome than any 
thing ever taught by Pelagius himself, who, indeed, ascribed 
more unto grace than these men do, although he denied this 
creation of a new principle of grace in us, antecedent unto 
acts of obedience 11 . And this turning all Scripture expres- 

e Sicut in nativitate carnali omnem nascentis hominis voluntatem praecedit operis 
divini forraatio, sic in spirituali nativitate qua veterem horainem deponere incipiraus. 
Fulgent, de Incamat. ft Grat. Christ, c. 29. 

Forma prajcessit in carne Christi, quam in nostra fide spiritualiter agnoscaraus ; 
nam Christus Filius Dei, secundum carnem de Spiritu Sancto conceptus et natus 
est: carnem autem illam nee concipere virgo posset nee parere, nisi ejus carnis Spi- 
ritus Sanctus operetur exordium. Sic etiam in hominis corde nee concipi fides po- 
tuit nee augeri, nisi earn Spiritus Sanctus effundat et nutriat. Ex eodem namque 
Spiritu renati sumus, ex quo Christus natus est. Idem. cap. 20. 

h Adjuvat nos Deus (the words of Pelagius) per doctrinam et revelationein suam, 


sions of spiritual things into metaphors, is but a way to turn 
the whole into a fable, or at least to render the gospel the 
most obscure and improper way of teaching the truth of 
things that ever was made use of in the world. 

This new creature, therefore, doth not consist in a new 
course of actions, but in renewed faculties, with new disposi- 
tions, power, and ability, to them and for them. Hence it is 
called the divine nature ; 2 Pet. i. 4. ' He hath given unto 
us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these you 
might be partakers of the divine nature.' This Qua (f>vmg, 
this 'divine nature,' is not the nature of God, whereof in our 
own persons we are not subjectively partakers. And yet a 
nature it is, which is a principle of operation, and that divine 
or spiritual ; namely, an habitual holy principle, wrought in 
us by God, and bearing his image. By the promises, there- 
fore, we are made partakers of a divine supernatural prin- 
ciple, of spiritual actions and operations, which is what we 
contend for. So the whole of what we intend is declared, 
Eph. iv. 22 — 24. ' Put off, concerning the former conver- 
sation the old man, which is corrupt, according to deceitful 
lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put 
on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness 
and true holiness.' It is the work of regeneration, with re- 
spect both to its foundation and progress, that is here de- 
scribed. (1.) The foundation of the whole is laid in our 
being ' renewed in the spirit of our mind ;' which the same 
apostle elsewhere calls, being ' transformed in the renova- 
tion of our minds ;' Rom. xii. 2. That this consists in the 
participation of a new, saving, supernatural light, to enable 
the mind unto spiritual actings, and to guide it therein, shall 
be afterward declared. Herein consists our ' renovation in 
knowledge, after the image of him who created us ;' Col. iii. 
10. And, (2.) the principle itself infused into us, created in 
us, is called the ' new man;' ver. 24. that is, the new crea- 
ture before mentioned ; and called the ' new man,' because 
it consists in the universal change of the whole soul, as it is 
the principle of all spiritual and moral actions. And, [1.] it 
is opposed unto the ' old man ;' ver.23. ' put off the old man 

dum cordis nostri oculos aperit, dura nobis, ne pnesentibus occuperour, futura dc- 
monstrat, dum diaboli pandit insidias, dura nos multiformi et ineffabili dono gratias 
caslestis illuminat. August, lib. de Grat. cont. Pelag. et Cae'est. cap. 7. 


and put on the new man ;' ver. 22. 24. Now this old man is 
the corruption of our nature, as that nature is the principle of 
all religious, spiritual, and moral actions, as is evident; 
Rom. vi. 6. It is not a corruptconversation, but the prin- 
ciple and root of it. For it is distinguished both from the 
conversation of men, and those corrupt lusts which are exer- 
cised therein, as to that exercise. And, [2.] it is called the 
new man, because it is the effect and product of God's creat- 
ing power, and that in a way of' anew creation;' see Eph. 
j. 18. Col. ii. 12, 13. 2Thess. i. 11. and it is here said to be 
' created after God ;' ver. 24. Now the object of a creating 
act is an instantaneous production. Whatever preparations 
there may be for it, and dispositions unto it, the bringing 
forth of a new form and being by creation, is in an instant. 
This, therefore, cannot consist in a mere reformation of life. 
So are we said herein to be the ' workmanship of God, created 
in Christ Jesus unto good works;' Eph. ii. 10. There is 
a work of God in us preceding all our good works towards 
him. For before we can work any of them, in order of na- 
ture, we must be the workmanship of God, created unto 
them, or enabled spiritually for the performance of them. - 
Again, This new man, whereby we are born again, is said 
to be created in righteousness and true holiness. That there is a 
respect unto man created in innocency, wherein he was made 
in the image of God, I suppose will not be denied. It is also 
expressed, Col. iii. 10. ' You have put on the new man, 
which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that 
created him.' Look then what was, or wherein consisted, the 
image of God in the first man, thereunto answers this new 
man, which is created of God. Now this did not consist in 
reformation of life, no, nor in a course of virtuous actions ; 
for he was created in the image of God, before he had done 
any one good thing at all, or was capable of so doing, But 
this image of God consisted principally, as we have evinced 
elsewhere, in the uprightness, rectitude, and ability, of his 
whole soul, his mind, will, and affections, in, unto, and for, 
the obedience that God required of him. This he was en- 
dowed withal, antecedently unto all voluntary actions 
whereby he was to live to God. Such, therefore, must be 
our regeneration, or the creation of this new man in us. It 
is the begetting, infusing, creating, of a new saving principle 


of spiritual life, light, and power in the soul, antecedent unto 
true evangelical reformation of life, in order of nature, en- 
abling men thereunto, according unto the mind of God. 

Hereunto accords that of our Saviour, Luke vi. 43. ' A 
good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit, neither doth a 
corrupt tree bring forth good fruit;' compared with Matt. vii. 
18. The fruit folio weth the nature of the tree. And there 
is no way to change the nature of the fruit, but by changing 
the nature of the tree which brings it forth. Now all 
amendment of life in reformation is but fruit; Matt. iii. 10. 
But the changing: of our nature is antecedent hereunto. 
This is the constant course and tenor of the Scripture, to 
distinguish between the grace of regeneration, which it de- 
clares to be an immediate supernatural work of God in us 
and upon us, and all that obedience, holiness, righteousness, 
virtue, or whatever is good in us, which is the consequent, 
product, and effect of it. Yea, God hath declared this ex- 
pressly in his covenant ; Ezek. xxxvi. 25 — 27. Jer. xxxi. 33. 
xxxii. 39, 40. The method of God's proceeding with us 
in his covenant is, that he first washeth and cleanseth 
our natures, takes away the heart of stone, gives a heart of 
flesh, writes his law in our hearts, puts his Spirit in us, 
wherein, as shall be evidenced, the grace of regeneration 
doth consist. The effect and consequent hereof is, that we 
shall walk in his statutes, keep his judgments and do them ; 
that is, reform our lives, and yield all holy obedience unto 
God ; wherefore these things are distinguished as causes 
and effects. See, to the same purpose, Rom. vi. 3 — 6. Col. 
iii. 1.5. Eph. ii. 10. iv. 23 — 25. This I insist upon still, 
on supposition, that by reformation of life, all actual obe- 
dience is intended. For as to that kind of life which is 
properly called a moral course of life, in opposition to open 
debaucheries and unrighteousness, which doth not proceed 
from an internal principle of saving grace; it is so far from 
being regeneration or grace, as that it is a thing of no accep- 
tation with God absolutely, whatever use or reputation it 
may be of in the world. 

And yet further, This work is described to consist in the 
sanctification of the whole spirit, soul, and body; 1 Thess. v. 23. 
And if this be that which some men intend by reformation 
of life and moral virtue, they must needs win much esteem, 
for their clearness and perspicuity in teaching spiritual 


things. For who would not admire them for such a defini- 
tion of morality, — namely, that it is the principal sanctifi- 
cation of the whole spirit, soul, and body, of a believer, by 
the Holy Ghost. But not to dwell longer on this subject, 
there is no description of the work of regeneration in the 
Scripture, in its nature, causes, or effects, no name given 
unto it, no promise made of it, nothing spoken of the ways, 
means, or power, by which it is wrought, but is inconsistent 
with this bold Pelagian figment, which is destructive of the 
grace of Jesus Christ. 

The ground of this imagination, that regeneration consists 
in a moral reformation of life, ariseth from a denial of original 
sin, or an inherent habitual corruption of nature. For the 
masters unto the men of this persuasion tell us, that what- 
ever is of vice or defilement in us, it is contracted by a cus- 
tom of sinning only. And their conceptions hereof do re- 
gulate their opinions about regeneration. For if man be 
not originally corrupted and polluted, if his nature be not 
depraved, if it be not possessed by, and under the power of, 
evil dispositions and inclinations, it is certain that he stands 
in no need of an inward spiritual renovation of it. It is 
enough for such an one, that by change of life he renounce a 
custom of sinning, and reform his conversation, according to 
the gospel, which in himself he hath power to do. But as 
it hath been in part already manifested, and will fully, God 
assisting, be evinced afterward, that in our regeneration the 
native ignorance, darkness, and blindness, of our minds are 
dispelled, saving and spiritual light being introduced by the 
power of God's grace into them, that the pravity and stub- 
bornness of our wills are removed and taken away, a new 
principle of spiritual life and righteousness being bestowed 
on them, and that the disorder and rebellion of our affections 
are cured, by the infusion of the love of God into our souls; 
so the corrupt imagination of the contrary opinion, directly 
opposite to the doctrine of the Scriptures, the faith of the 
ancient church, and the experience of all sincere believers, 
hath amongst us of late, nothing but ignorance and ready 
confidence produced to give countenance unto it. 

Thirdly, The work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, 
doth not consist in enthusiastical raptures, ecstasies, voices, or 
any thing of the like kind. It may be, some such things 
have been, by some deluded persons, apprehended or pre- 


tended unto. But the countenancing of any such imagina- 
tions, is falsely and injuriously charged on them, who main- 
tain the powerful and effectual work of the Holy Spirit in 
our regeneration. And this some are prone to do, wherein 
whether they discover more of their ignorance, or of their 
malice I know not, but nothing is more common with them. 
All whom in this matter they dissent from, so far as they 
know what they say, or whereof they affirm, do teach men 
to look after enthusiastic inspirations, or unaccountable rap- 
tures, and to esteem them for conversion unto God, although 
in the mean time they live in a neglect of holiness and righ- 
teousness of conversation. I answer, If there be those who 
do so, we doubt not, but that, without their repentance, the 
wrath of God will come upon them as upon other children 
of disobedience. And yet, in the mean time, we cannot but 
call aloud, that others would discover their diligence in at- 
tendance unto these things, who, as far as I can discern, do 
cry up the names of virtue and righteousness, in opposition 
to the grace of Jesus Christ, and that holiness which is a 
fruit thereof. But for the reproach now under consideration, 
it is, as applied, no other but a calumny and false accusa- 
tion. And that it is so, the writings and preachings of those 
who have most diligently laboured in the declaration of the 
work of the Holy Spirit in our regeneration, will bear testi- 
mony at the great day of the Lord. We may, therefore, as 
unto this negative principle, observe three things: 1. That 
the Holy Spirit in this work doth ordinarily put forth his 
power in and by the use of means. He worketh also on 
men suitably unto their natures, even as the faculties of their 
souls, their minds, wills, and affections, are meet to be af- 
fected and wrought upon. He doth not come upon them, 
with involuntary raptures, using their faculties and powers, 
as the evil spirit wrests the bodies of them whom he pos- 
sesseth ; his whole work, therefore, is rationally to be ac- 
counted for, by and unto them who believe the Scripture, 
and have received the Spirit of truth, whom the world can- 
not receive. The formal efficiency of the Spirit, indeed, in 
the putting forth the exceeding greatness of his power, in 
our quickening ; which the ancient church constantly call- 
eth his inspiration of grace, both in private writing, and 
canons of councils, is no otherwise to be comprehended by 

VOL. II. s 


us, than any other creating act of divine power ; for as we 
hear the wind, but know not from whence it cometh, nor 
whither it goeth, so is every one that is born of God ; yet, 
these two things are certain herein : (1.) That he worketh 
nothing, nor any other way, nor by any other means, than 
what are determined and declared in the word. By that, 
therefore, may, and must, every thing, really belonging, or 
pretended to belong, unto this work of regeneration, be tried 
and examined. (2.) That he acts nothing contrary unto, 
puts no force upon, any of the faculties of our souls, but 
works in them and by them suitably to their natures; and 
being more intimate unto them, as Austin speaks, than they 
are unto themselves, by an almighty facility he produceth 
the effect which he intendeth. 

This great work, therefore, neither in part nor whole, 
consists in raptures, ecstasies, visions, enthusiastic inspira- 
tions, but in the effect of the power of the Spirit of God on 
the souls of men, by and according to his word, both of the 
law and the gospel. And those who charge these things on 
them, who have asserted, declared, and preached it, accord- 
ing to the Scriptures, do it probably to countenance them- 
selves in their hatred of them, and of the work itself. Where- 
fore, 2. where by reason of distempers of mind, disorder of 
fancy, or long continuance of distressing fears and sorrows, 
in and under such preparatory works of the Spirit, which 
sometimes cut men to their hearts in the sense of their sin, 
and sinful lost condition, any do fall into apprehensions or 
imaginations of any thing extraordinary in the ways before- 
mentioned, if it be not quickly and strictly brought unto 
the rule, and discarded thereby, it may be of great danger 
unto their souls, and is never of any solid use or advantage. 
Such apprehensions for the most part are either conceptions 
of distempered minds, and discomposed fancies, or delusions 
of Satan transforming himself into an angel of light, which 
the doctrine of regeneration ought not to be accountable 
for. Yet I must say, 3. That so it is come to pass, that 
many of those who have been really made partakers of this 
gracious work of the Holy Spirit, have been looked on in 
the world, which knows them not, as mad, enthusiastic, and 
fanatical. So the captains of the host esteemed the pro- 
phet that came to anoint Jehu; 2 Kings ix. 11. And the 


kindred of our Saviour, when he began to preach the gospel, 
said, He was ' besides himself,' or ecstatical ; Mark iii. 21. 
and they went out to lay hold of him. So Festus judged of 
Paul; Acts xxvi. 24, 25. And the author of the Book of 
Wisdom gives us an account what acknowledgments some 
will make when it shall be too late, as to their own advan- 
tage ; chap. v. 3 — 5. ' They shall say, crying out, because of 
the trouble of their minds, This is he whom we accounted a 
scorn, and a common reproach ; we fools esteemed his life 
madness, and his latter end to have been shameful; but how 
is he reckoned among the sons of God, and his lot is among 
the holy ones.' From what hath been spoken it appears ; 

Fourthly, That the work of the Spirit of God in rege- 
nerating the souls of men, is diligently to be inquired into 
by the preaching of the gospel, and all to whom the word is 
dispensed. For the former sort, there is a peculiar reason 
for their attendance unto this duty. For they are used and 
employed in the work itself by the Spirit of God, and are 
by him made instrumental for the effecting of this new birth 
and life. So the apostle Paul styles himself the father of 
them who were converted to God, or regenerate, through 
the word of his ministry ; 1 Cor. iv. 15. ' Though you have 
ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have you not many 
fathers, for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the 
gospel.' He was used in the ministry of the word for their 
regeneration, and therefore was their spiritual father, and 
he only, though the work was afterward carried on by others. 
And if men are fathers in the gospel to no more than are 
converted unto God by their personal ministry, it will be 
no advantage unto any, one day, to have assumed that title, 
when it hath had no foundation in that work as to its effec- 
tual success. So, speaking of Onesimus, who was con- 
verted by him in prison, he calls him ' his son whom he 
had begotten in his bonds;' Philem. 10. And this he declared 
to have been prescribed unto him as the principal end of his 
ministry, in the commission he had for preaching the gos- 
pel ; Acts xxvi. 17, 18. Christ said unto him, ' I send thee 
unto the Gentiles to open their eyes, to turn them from 
darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God ;' 
which is a description of the work under consideration. 
And this is the principal end of our ministry also. Now 




certainly it is the duty of ministers to understand the work 
about which they are employed, as far as they are able, that 
they may not work in the dark, and fight uncertainly, as 
men beating the air. What the Scripture hath revealed 
concerning it, as to its nature, and the manner of its ope- 
ration ; as to its causes, effects, fruits, evidences, they ought 
diligently to inquire into. To be spiritually skilled therein, 
is one of the principal furnishments of any for the work of 
the ministry, without which they will never be able to divide 
the word aright, nor shew themselves workmen that need 
not be ashamed. Yet it is scarcely imaginable with what 
rage and perversity of spirit, with what scornful expressions, 
this whole work is traduced, and exposed to contempt. 
Those who have laboured herein, are said ' to prescribe long 
and tedious trains of conversion, to set down nice and sub- 
tile processes of regeneration, to fill people's heads with in- 
numerable swarms of superstitious fears and scruples about 
the due degrees of godly sorrow, and the certain symptoms 
of a thorough humiliation ;' pp. 306, 307. Could any mistake 
be charged on particular persons in these things, or the 
prescribing of rules about conversion to God and regenera- 
tion, that are not warranted by the word of truth, it were 
not amiss to reflect upon them, and refute them. But the 
intention of these expressions is evident, and the reproach 
in them is cast upon the work of God itself. And I must 
profess, that I believe the degeneracy from the truth and 
power of Christian religion ; the ignorance of the principal 
doctrines of the gospel; and that scorn which is cast, in these 
and the like expressions, on the grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, by such as not only profess themselves to be minis- 
ters, but of a higher degree than ordinary, will be sadly 
ominous unto the whole state of the reformed church 
amongst us, if not timely repressed and corrected. But 
what at present I affirm in this matter, is, 1. That it is a 
duty indispensably incumbent on all ministers of the gos- 
pel, to acquaint themselves thoroughly with the nature of 
this work, that they may be able to comply with the will of 
God, and grace of the Spirit in the effecting and accom- 
plishment of it, upon the souls of them unto whom they dis- 
pense the word. Neither without some competent know- 
ledge hereof, can they discharge any one part of their duty 


and office in a right manner. If all that hear them are 
born dead in trespasses and sins, if they are appointed of 
God to be the instruments of their regeneration, it is a mad- 
ness which must one day be accounted for, to neglect a 
sedulous inquiry into the nature of this work, and the 
means whereby it is wrought. And the ignorance hereof, 
or negligence herein, with the want of an experience of the 
power of this work in their own souls, is one great cause of 
that lifeless and unprofitable ministry which is among us. 

2. It is likewise the duty of all to whom the word is 
preached to inquire also into it ; it is unto such to whom the 
apostle speaks, 2 Cor. xiii. 5. ' Examine yourselves whether 
you be in the faith, prove your ownselves; know you not 
your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you except you 
be reprobates.' It is the concernment of all individual 
Christians, or professors of Christian religion, to try and 
examine themselves what work of the Spirit of God, there 
hath been upon their hearts ; and none will deter them from 
it, but those who have a design to hoodwink them to perdi- 
tion. And, (1.) the doctrine of it is revealed and taught us. 
* For secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those 
things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children 
for ever, that we may do all the words of the law;' Deut. 
xxix. 29. And we speak not of curious inquiries into, 
or after, hidden things, or the secret veiled actions of the 
Holy Spirit ; but only of an upright endeavour to search 
into, and comprehend, the doctrine concerning this work, to 
this very end, that we might understand it. (2.) It is of such 
importance unto all our duties, and all our comforts, to have 
a due apprehension of the nature of this work, and of our 
own concernment therein, that an inquiry into the one and 
the other cannot be neglected without the greatest folly and 
madness. Whereunto we may add, (3.) the danger that there 
is of men being deceived in this matter, which is the hinge 
whereon their eternal state and condition doth absolutely 
turn and depend. And certain it is, that very many in the 
world do deceive themselves herein. For they evidently live 
under one of these pernicious mistakes; namely, that, [1.] 
either men may go to heaven, or enter into the kingdom of 
God, and not be 'born again ;' contrary to that of our Sa- 
viour, John iii. 6. or, [2.] that men may be 'born again,' and 
yet live in sin, contrary to 1 John iii. 9. 






Sundry things preparatory to the work of conversion. Material and formal 
dispositions ivith their difference. Things in the power of our natural 
abilities required of us in a way of duty. Internal, spiritual effects 
wrought in the souls of men by the word. Illumination. Conviction of 
sin. Consequents thereof. These things variously taught. Power of 
the word and energy of the Spirit distinct. Subject of this work; mind, 
affections, and conscience. Nature of this whole work, and difference 
from saving conversion farther declared. 

First, In reference unto the work of regeneration itself, 
positively considered, we may observe, that ordinarily there 
are certain previous and preparatory works, or workings in 
and upon the souls of men, that are antecedent and disposi- 
tive unto it. But yet regeneration doth not consist in them, 
nor can it be educed out of them. This is, for the substance 
of it, the position of the divines of the church of England, 
at the synod of Dort, two whereof died bishops, and others 
of them were dignified in the hierarchy. I mention it, that 
those by whom these things are despised, may a little con- 
sider whose ashes they trample on and scorn. Lawful doubt- 
less it is for any man, on just grounds, to dissent from their 
judgments and determinations 8 ; but to do it with an im- 
putation of folly, with derision, contempt, scorn, and scoff- 

a Sunt quaedam opera externa ab hominibus ordinarie requisita priusquam ad 
statum regenerationis aut conversionis perducantur quae ab iisdem quandoque libere 
fieri, quandoque libere omitti solent, ut adire ecclesiam, audire verbi praeconium, et 
id genus alia. 

Sunt quaedam effecta interna ad conversionem sive regenerationem praevia, quae 
virtute verbi spiritusque in nondum regeneratorum cordibus excitantur, qualia sunt 
notitia voluntatis divinae, sensus peccati, timor paenae ; cogitatio de libcratione, spes 
aliqua venial. Synod. Dordrec. Suffrag. Theolog. Britan. ad Artie, quartum, 
Thes. 1. 2. 


ing, at what they believed and taught, becometh only a ge- 
neration of new divines amongst us. But to return ; I 
speak in this position only of them that are adult, and not 
converted until they have made use of the means of grace, 
in and by their own reasons and understandings : and the 
dispositions I intend, are only materially so ; not such as 
contain grace of the same nature as is regeneration itself. 
A material disposition is that which disposeth, and some 
way maketh a subject fit for, the reception of that which 
shall be communicated, added, or infused into it, as its form. 
So wood by dryness and a due composure, is made fit and 
ready to admit of firing, or continual fire. A formal dispo- 
sition is where one degree of the same kind, disposeth the 
subject unto farther degrees of it. As the morning light 
which is of the same kind, disposeth the air to the reception 
of the full light of the sun. The former we allow here, not 
the latter. Thus in natural generation there are sundry dis- 
positions of the matter before the form is introduced. So 
the body of Adam was formed, before the rational soul was 
breathed into it ; and Ezekiel's bones came together with 
a noise and shaking before the breath of life entered into 

I shall in this place give only a summary account of 
this preparatory work ; because in the close of these dis- 
courses, I shall handle it practically and more at large. 
Wherefore what I have here to offer concerning it, shall be 
reduced unto the ensuing observations. 

First, There are some things required of us in a way of duty 
in order unto our regeneration, which are so in the power of 
our own natural abilities, as that nothing but corrupt preju- 
dices and stubbornness in sinning, doth keep or hinder men 
from the performance of them. And these we may reduce 
unto two heads : (1.) An outward attendance, unto the dispen- 
sation of the word of God, with those other external means 
of grace, which accompany it, or are appointed therein. 
* Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God ;' 
Rom. x. 17. that is, it is hearing the word of God which is 
the ordinary means of ingenerating faith in the souls of 
men. This is required of all to whom the gospel doth come, 
and this they are able of themselves to do, as well as any 
other natural or civil action. And where men do it not, 


where they despise the word at a distance, yea, where they 
do it not with diligence and choice, it is merely from supine 
negligence of spiritual things, carnal security, and contemp* 
of God, which they must answer for. (2.) A diligent inten- 
sion of mind, in attendance on the means of grace, to under- 
stand and receive the things revealed and declared as the 
mind and will of God. For this end hath God given men 
their reasons and understandings, that they may use and ex- 
ercise them about their duty towards him, according to the 
revelation of his mind and will. To this purpose, he calls 
upon them to ' remember that they are men, and to turn unto 
him.' And there is nothing herein but what is in the liberty 
and power of the rational faculties of our souls, assisted 
with those common aids, which God affords unto all men in 
general. And great advantages both may be, and are daily, 
attained hereby. Persons, I say, who diligently apply their 
rational abilities in and about spiritual things, as externally 
revealed in the word, and the preaching of it, do usually at- 
tain great advantages by it, and excel their equals in other 
things ; as Paul did when he was brought up at the feet of 
Gamaliel. Would men be but as intent and diligent in their 
endeavours after knowledge in spiritual things, as revealed 
in a way suited unto our capacities and understandings, as 
they are to get skill in crafts, sciences, and other mysteries 
of life, it would be much otherwise with many than it is. 
A neglect herein also is the fruit of sensuality, spiritual 
sloth, love of sin, and contempt of God, all which are the 
voluntary frames and actings of the minds of men. 

These things are required of us in order unto our rege- 
neration, and it is in the power of our own wills to comply 
with them ; and we may observe concerning them, That, [1.] 
the omission of them, the neglect of men in them, is the prin- 
cipal occasion and cause of the eternal ruin of the souls of 
the generality of them to whom, or amongst whom, the gos- 
pel is preached. 'This is the condemnation, that light is 
come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than 
light, because their deeds are evil ;' John iii. 19. The ge- 
nerality of men know full well that they do, in this matter, no 
more what they are able, than what they should. All plead- 
able pretences of inability and weakness are far from them. 
They cannot but know here, and they shall be forced to con- 


fess hereafter, that it was merely from their own cursed sloth, 
with love of the world and sin, that they were diverted from 
a diligent attendance on the means of conversion, and the 
sedulous exercise of their minds about them. Complaints 
hereof against themselves will make up a great part of their 
last dreadful cry. [2.] In the most diligent use of outward 
means, men are not able of themselves to attain unto rege- 
neration, or complete conversion to God, without an espe- 
cial, effectual, internal work of the Holy Spirit of grace on 
their whole souls. This, containing the substance of what 
is principally proposed unto confirmation in the ensuing dis- 
courses, needs not here be insisted on. [3.] Ordinarily God 
in the effectual dispensation of his grace, meeteth with them 
who attend with diligence on the outward administration of 
the means of it. He doth so, I say, ordinarily, in compari- 
son of them who are despisers and neglecters of them. 
Sometimes indeed he goeth as it were out of the way, to 
meet with and bring home unto himself a persecuting Saul, 
taking of him in, and taking him off from, a course of open 
sin and rebellion. But ordinarily he dispenseth his peculiar 
especial grace among them who attend unto the common 
means of it. For he will both glorify his word thereby, and 
give out pledges of his approbation of our obedience unto 
his commands and institutions. 

Secondly, There are certain internal spiritual effects, wrought 
in and upon the souls of men, whereof the word preached is 
the immediate instrumental cause, which ordinarily do pre- 
cede the work of regeneration, or real conversion unto God. 
And they are reducible unto three heads. 1. Illumination. 
2. Conviction. 3. Reformation. The first of these respects 
the mind only ; the second the mind, conscience, and affec- 
tions ; and the third the life and conversation. 

1. The first is illumination, of whose nature and causes 
we must afterward treat distinctly; at present I shall only 
consider it, as it is ordinarily previous unto regeneration, and 
materially disposing the mind thereunto. Now all the light 
which by any means we attain unto, or knowledge that we 
have in or about spiritual things, things of supernatural re- 
velation, come under this denomination of illumination. And 
hereof there are three degrees. (1.) That which ariseth 
merely from an industrious application of the rational facul- 


ties of our souls, to know, perceive, and understand, the doc- 
trines of truth as revealed unto us. For hereby much know- 
ledge of divine truth maybe obtained, which others, through 
their negligence, sloth, and pride, are unacquainted with. 
And this knowledge 1 refer unto illumination; that is, a light 
superadded to the innate conceptions of men's minds, and 
beyond what of themselves they can extend unto ; because 
it is concerning such things as the heart of man could never 
of itself conceive, but the very knowledge of them is com- 
municated by their revelation; 1 Cor. ii. 9. 11. And the 
reason why so very few do exercise themselves to the attain- 
ing of this knowledge, according to their abilities, is, because 
of the enmity which is in the carnal minds of all men by na- 
ture unto the things themselves that are revealed. And within 
the compass of this degree, I comprise all knowledge of spi- 
ritual things that is merely natural. (2.) There is an illu- 
mination which is an especial effect of the Holy Ghost by 
the word on the minds of men. With respect hereunto, some 
who fall totally from God, and perish eternally, are said to 
have been * once enlightened;' Heb.vi.4. This light variously 
affects the mind, and makes a great addition unto what is 
purely natural or attainable by the mere exercise of our na- 
tural abilities. 

For, [1.] it adds perspicuity unto it, making the things dis- 
cerned in it more clear and perspicuous to the mind. Hence 
men endowed with it, are said to ' know the way of righte- 
ousness ;' 2 Pet. ii. 21. clearly and distinctly to apprehend 
the doctrine of the gospel as the way of righteousness. They 
know it hot only or merely as true, but as a way of righte- 
ousness ; namely, the way of God's righteousness, which is 
therein revealed from faith to faith ; Rom. i. 17. and the way 
of righteousness for sinners in the sight of God; Rom. x. 
3, 4. [2.] It adds a greater assent unto the truth of the things 
revealed, than mere natural reason can rise up unto. Hence 
those thus illuminated are frequently said to believe ; their 
faith being only the naked assent of their minds unto the 
truth revealed to them. So it is said of Simon the magician; 
Acts viii. 12. and of sundry of the Jews; John ii. 23, 24. 
xii. 42. [3.] It adds unto them some kind of evanid joy. 
These receive the ' word with joy,' and yet have ' no root in 
themselves ;' Luke xviii. 13. ' They rejoice in the light of 


it/ at least for a season; John v. 35. Persons that are thus 
enlightened, will be variously affected with the word, so as 
they are not whose natural faculties are not spiritually ex- 
cited. [4.] It adds oft-times gifts also, whereof this spiri- 
tual light is, as it were, the common matter, which in exer- 
cise is formed and fashioned in great variety. I say, this 
kind of spiritual light, the effect of this illumination, is the 
subject matter, and contains in it the substance, of all spi- 
ritual gifts. One sort of gift it is, when put forth and ex- 
ercised in one way, or one kind of duty, and another as in 
another. And where it is improved into gifts, which princi- 
pally it is by exercise, there it wonderfully affects the mind, 
and raiseth its apprehensions in and of spiritual things. Now 
concerning this degree of illumination, I say, first, That it 
is not regeneration, nor doth it consist therein, nor doth ne- 
cessarily or infallibly ensue upon it. (3.) A third degree is 
required thereunto, which we shall afterward explain. Many 
therefore may be thus enlightened, and yet never be con- 
verted. Secondly, That in order of nature it is previous 
unto a full and real conversion to God, and is materially 
preparatory and dispositive thereunto. For saving grace 
enters into the soul by light. As it is therefore a gift of 
God, so it is the duty of all men, to labour after a partici- 
pation of it, however by many it be abused. 

2. Conviction of sin is another effect of the preaching of 
the word, antecedaneous unto real conversion to God. This 
in general the apostle describes, 1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25. ' If ye 
prophesy, and one cometh in who believeth not, he is con- 
vinced of all ; and thus are the secrets of his heart made 
manifest; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship 
God.' And sundry things are included herein, or do accom- 
pany it. As, (1.) a disquieting sense of the guilt of sin, with 
respect unto the law of God, with his threatenings and future 
judgments. Things that before were slighted and made a 
mock of, do now'become the soul's burden and constant dis- 
quietment. • Fools make a mock of sin ;' they traverse their 
ways, and snuff up the wind like the wild ass ; but in their 
month, when conviction hath burdened them, you may find 
them. And hereby are the minds of men variously affected 
with b fears and anguish in various degrees, according as im- 

b Heu miserum niraisque miserum quem torquet conscientia sua, quara fugere non 


pressions are made upon them by the word. And these de- 
grees are not prescribed as necessary duties unto persons 
under their conversions, but only described as they usually 
fall out, to the relief and direction of such as are concerned 
in them. As a man going to give directions unto another, 
how to guide his course in a voyage at sea; he tells him, 
that in such a place he will meet with rocks and shelves, 
storms and cross winds, so that if he steer not very needfully, 
he will be in danger to miscarry and to be cast away. He 
doth not prescribe it unto him as his duty, to go among such 
rocks, and into such storms, but only directs him how to 
guide himself in them, where he doth meet with them, as 
assuredly he will, if he miss not his proper course. (2.) Sor- 
row or grief for sin committed, because past and irrecover- 
able, which is the formal reason of this condemning sorrow. 
This the Scripture calls ' sorrow of the world ;' 2 Cor. vii. 10. 
Divines usually legal sorrow ; as that which, in conjunction 
with the sense of the guilt of sin mentioned, brings men into 
bondage under fear; Rom. viii. 15. (3.) Humiliation for 
sin; which is the exercise or working of sorrow and fear in 
outward acts of confession, fasting, praying, and the like. 
This is the true nature of legal humiliation ; 1 Kings xxi. 29. 
(4.) Unless by these things the soul be swallowed up in de- 
spair, it cannot be but that it will be filled with thoughts, 
desires, inquiries, and contrivances, about a deliverance out 
of that state and condition wherein it is ; as Acts ii. 27. 
xvi. 30. 

3. Oftentimes a great reformation of life, and change in 
affections, doth ensue hereon ; as Matt. xiii. 20. 2 Pet. ii. 
20. Matt. xii. 43. 

All these things may be wrought in the minds of men 
by the dispensation of the word, and yet the work of rege- 
neration be never perfected in them. Yea, although they 
are good in themselves, and fruits of the kindness of God 
towards us, they may not only be lost, as unto any spiritual 
advantage, but also be abused unto our great disadvantage. 
And this comes not to pass but by our own sin, whereby 
we contract a new guilt upon our souls. And it commonly 

potest ; nirais miserum quem expectat damnatio sua quam vitare non potest, nisi 
Deus eripiat. Nimis est infelix cui mors aeterna est sensibilis ; niniis aeruranosus 
quem terrent continui dc sua infaelicitate horrores. August, de Contritione Cordis. 


so falls out one of these three ways. For, (1.) some are no 
way careful or wise to improve this light and conviction 
unto the end whereunto they tend and are designed. Their 
message is to turn the minds of men, and to take them off 
from their self-confidence, and to direct them unto Christ. 
Where this is not attended unto, where they are not used 
and improved unto the pursuit of this end, they insensibly 
wither, decay, and come to nothing. (2.) In some they are 
overborne by the power and violence of their lusts, the love 
of sin, and efficacy of .temptation. They are sinned away 
every day, and leave the soul in ten times a worse condition 
than they found it. (3.) Some rest in these things, as though 
they comprised the whole work of God towards them, and 
guided them in all the duties required of them. This is the 
state of many where they extend their power, in the last in- 
stance, unto any considerable reformation of life, and attend- 
ance unto duties of religious worship. But this, as was 
said, falls out through the abuse which the carnal minds of 
men, retaining their enmity against God, do put these things 
unto. In their own nature they are good, useful, and ma- 
terial preparations unto regeneration, disposing the mind 
unto the reception of the grace of God. 

And the doctrine concerning- these things hath been v&- 
riously handled, distinguished, and applied, by many learned 
divines and faithful ministers of the gospel. Unto that light 
which they received into them from the infallible word of 
truth, they joined those experiences which they had observed 
in their own hearts, and the consciences of others with whom 
they had to do, which were suitable thereunto. And in the 
dispensation of this truth, according to the ' measure of the 
gift of the grace of Christ,' which they severally received, 
they had a useful and fruitful ministry in the world, to the 
converting of many unto God. But we have lived to see all 
these things decried and rejected. And the way which some 
have taken therein, is as strange and uncouth as the thing 
itself. For they go not about once to disprove by Scripture 
or reason, what hath been taught or delivered by any sober 
persons to this purpose; nor do they endeavour themselves 
to declare from, or by the Scriptures, what is the work of 
regeneration, what are the causes and effects of it, in oppo- 
sition thereunto. These and such like ways made use of by 


all that have treated of spiritual things, from the foundation 
of Christianity are despised and rejected. But horrible and 
contemptuous reproaches are cast upon the things them- 
selves, in words heaped together on purpose to expose them 
unto scorn, among persons ignorant of the gospel and them- 
selves. Those that teach them are ecstatical and illiterate ; 
and those that receive them are superstitious, giddy, and 
fanatical. All conviction, sense of, and sorrow for sin ; all 
fear of the curse and wrath due unto sin ; all troubles and 
distresses of mind, by reason of these things, are foolish 
imaginations, the effects of bodily diseases and distempers, 
enthusiastic notions arising from the disorders of men's 
brains ; and I know not what untoward humours in their 
complexions and constitutions. The same, or the like ac- 
count, is also given concerning all spiritual desertions, or 
joys and refreshments. And the whole doctrine concerning 
these things is branded with novelty, and hopes expressed 
of its sudden vanishing out of the world. This contempt and 
scorn of the gospel have we lived to see, whereof it may be 
other ages and places have not had experience. For as all 
these things are plentifully taught by some of the ancients, 
in their expositions of the Scriptures, wherein they are ex- 
pressed, especially by Austin, who had occasion particularly 
to inquire into them ; so the doctrine concerning them is in 
a great measure retained in the church of Rome itself. Only 
some amongst ourselves are weary of them; who being no 
way able to oppose the principles and foundations whereon 
they are built, nor to disprove them by Scripture or reason, 
betake themselves to these revilings and reproaches. And, 
as if it were not enough for them to proclaim their own ig- 
norance and personal unacquaintance with those things 
which inseparably accompany that conviction of sin, righ- 
teousness, and judgment, which our Lord Jesus Christ hath 
promised to send the Holy Spirit to work in all that should 
believe, they make the reproaching of it in others a princi- 
pal effect of that religion which they profess. Nevertheless 
'the foundation of God standeth sure:' God knoweth who 
are his. But we must return to our purpose. 

Thirdly, All the things mentioned as wrought instrumen- 
tally by the word, are effects of the power of the Spirit of 
God. The word itself, under a bare proposal to the minds 


of men will not so affect them. We need go no farther, for 
the confirmation hereof, than merely to consider the preach- 
ing (with the effects which it had towards many) of the 
prophets of old, Isa. xlix. 4. Jer. xv. 30. Ezek. xxxiii. 31, 
32. of Jesus Christ himself, John viii. 59. and of the 
apostles, Acts xiii. 41. 45, 46. Hence to this day, the Jews 
who enjoy the letter of the Old Testament, without the ad- 
ministration of the Spirit, are as full of blindness, hardness, 
and obstinacy, as any in the world who are utterly deprived 
of it. Many amongst ourselves, sit all their days under the 
preaching of the word, and yet have none of the effects men- 
tioned wrought upon them, when others, their associates in 
hearing, are really affected, convinced, and converted. It 
is, therefore, the ministration of the Spirit, in and by the 
word, which produceth all or any of these effects on the 
minds of men. He is the fountain of all illumination. Hence 
they that are enlightened are said to be made ' partakers of 
the Holy Spirit;' Heb. vi. 4. And he is promised by our 
Saviour 'to convince the world of sin;' John xvi. 8. which 
although in that place it respects only one kind of sin, yet 
it is sufficient to establish a general rule, that all conviction 
of sin is from and by him. And no wonder, if men live se- 
curely in their sins, to whom the light which he gives, and 
the convictions which he worketh, are a scorn and reproach. 

There is, indeed, an objection of some moment, against 
the ascription of this work, unto the energy of the Holy 
Spirit. For whereas it is granted, that all these things may 
be wrought in the minds and souls of men, and yet they 
may come short of the saving grace of God ; how can he be 
thought to be the author of such a work? Shall we say 
that he designs only a weak and imperfect work upon the 
hearts of men ? Or that he deserts and gives over the work 
of grace which he hath undertaken towards them, as not able 
to accomplish it? 

Ans. 1. In many persons, it may be in the most, who are 
thus affected, real conversion unto God doth ensue ; the 
Holy Spirit by these preparatory actings, making way for 
the introduction of the new spiritual life into the soul. So 
they belong unto a work that is perfect in its kind. 2. 
"Wherever they fail and come short of what in their own na- 
ture they have a tendency unto, it is not from any weakness 


and imperfection in themselves, but from the sins of them in 
whom they are wrought. For instance, even common illu- 
mination and conviction of sin, have in their own nature, a 
tendency unto sincere conversion. They have so in the 
same kind, as the law hath to bring us unto Christ. Where 
this end is not attained, it is always from the interposition 
of an act of wilfulness and stubbornness in those enlightened 
and convicted. They do not sincerely improve what they 
have received, and faint not merely for want of strength to 
proceed, but by a free act of their own wills, they refuse the 
grace which is farther tendered unto them in the gospel. 
This will, and its actual resistance unto the work of the 
Spirit, God is pleased in some to take away ; it is, therefore, 
of sovereign grace, when and where it is removed ; but the 
sin of men and their guilt is in it, where it is continued. 
For no more is required hereunto, but that it be voluntary ; 
it is will and not power that gives rectitude or obliquity 
unto moral actions. 3. As we observed before, the Holy 
Spirit in his whole work is a voluntary agent. He worketh 
what, when, and how, he pleaseth. No more is required 
unto his operations, that they may be such as become him, 
but these two things. First, That in themselves they be 
good and holy. Secondly, That they be effectual as unto 
the ends whereunto by him they are designed. That he 
should always design them to the utmost length of what 
they have a moral tendency towards, though no real effi- 
ciency for, is not required. And these things are found in 
these operations of the Holy Spirit. They are in their own 
nature good and holy; illumination is so, so is conviction, 
and sorrow for sin, with a subsequent change of affections 

and amendment of life. 

Again, What he worketh in any of these, effectually and 
infallibly accomplisheth the end aimed at ; which is no more, 
but that men be enlightened, convinced, humbled, and re- 
formed, wherein he faileth not. In these things he is 
pleased to take on him the management of the law, so to 
bring the soul into bondage thereby, that it may be stirred 
up to seek after deliverance : and he is thence actively called 
the 'Spirit of bondage unto fear;' Rom. viii. 15. And this 
work is that which constitutes the third ground in our Sa- 
viour's parable of the sower. It receives the seed and 


springs up hopefully, until by cares of the world, temptations 
and occasions of life it is choked and lost ; Matt. xiii. 22. 
Now, because it oftentimes maketh a great appearance and 
resemblance of regeneration itself, or of real conversion to 
God, so that neither the world nor the church are able to 
distinguish between them, it is of great concernment unto 
all professors of the gospel, to inquire diligently whether 
they have in their own souls been made partakers of any 
other work of the Spirit of God or no. For although this 
be a good work, and do lie in a good subserviency unto re- 
generation, yet if men attain no more, if they proceed no 
farther, they will perish, and that eternally. And multitudes 
do herein actually deceive themselves, speaking peace unto 
their souls on the effects of this work, whereby it is not only 
insufficient to save them, as it is to all persons at all times, 
but also becomes a means of their present security and fu- 
ture destruction. I shall, therefore, give some few instances 
of what this work, in the conjunction of all the parts of it, 
and in its utmost improvement, cannot effect; whereby men 
may make a judgment how things stand in their own souls 
in respect unto it. 

1. It maybe observed, that we have placed all the effects 
of this work in the mind, conscioice, affections, and conversation. 
Hence it follows, notwithstanding all that is or may be 
spoken of it, that the will is neither really changed, nor in- 
ternally renewed by it. Now the will is the ruling, governing 
faculty of the soul, as the mind is the guiding and leading. 
Whilst this abides unchanged, unrenewed, the power and 
reign of sin continues in the soul; though not undisturbed, 
yet unruined. It is true, there are many checks and controls 
from the light of the mind, and reflections of conscience cast 
in this state upon the actings of the will, so that it cannot 
put itself forth in and towards sin, with that freedom, se- 
curity, and licentiousness, as it was wont to do ; its fierce- 
ness and ras;e rushing; into sin, as the horse into the battle, 
running on God, and the thick bosses of his buckler, maybe 
broken and abated, by those hedges of thorns which it finds 
set in its way, and those buffetings it meets withal from 
light and convictions. Its delight and greediness in sinning, 
may be calmed and quieted by those frequent representa- 
tions of the terror of the Lord on the one hand, and the plea- 



sure of eternal rest on the other, which are made unto it. 
But yet still, setting aside all considerations foreign unto its 
own principle, the bent and inclination of the will itself, is 
to sin and evil, always and continually. The will of sinning 
may be restrained upon a thousand considerations, which 
light and convictions will administer; but it is not taken 
away. And this discovers itself where the very first motions 
of the soul towards sinful objects have a sensible compla- 
cency, until they are controlled by light and fear. This ar- 
gues an unrenewed will, if it be constant and universal. 

2. The effects of this work on the mind, which is the 
first subject affected with it, proceeds not so far as to give 
it delight, complacency, and satisfaction, in the lively spiritual 
nature and excellencies of the things revealed unto it. The 
true nature of saving illumination consists in this, that it 
gives the mind such a direct intuitive insight and prospect 
into spiritual things, as that, in their own spiritual na- 
ture, they suit, please, and satisfy it. So that it is trans- 
formed into them, cast into the mould of them, and rests 
in them; Rom. vi. 17. xii. 2. 1 Cor. ii. 13, 14. 2 Cor. 
iii. 18. iv. 6. This the work we have insisted on, reacheth 
not unto. For notwithstanding any discovery that is made 
therein of spiritual things unto the mind, it finds not an im- 
mediate, direct, spiritual excellency in them, but only with 
respect unto some benefit or advantage, which is to be at- 
tained by means thereof. It will not give such a spiritual 
insight into the mystery of God's grace, by Jesus Christ, 
called, * his glory shining in the face of Christ,' 2 Cor. iv. 6. 
as that the soul, in its first direct view of it, should, for what 
it is in itself, admire it, delight in it, approve it, and find 
spiritual solace with refreshment in it. But such a light, 
such a knowledge, it communicates, as that a man may like 
it well in its effects, as a way of mercy and salvation. 

3. This work extends itself to the conscience also ; but, 
yet it doth not 'purge the conscience from dead works, that we 
should serve the living God.' This is the effect of a real ap- 
plication of the blood of Christ, by faith, unto our souls ; 
Heb. ix. 14. Two things it effects upon the conscience. 
(1.) It renders it more ready, quick, and sharp, in the reprov- 
ing and condemning of all sin, than it was before. To con- 
demn sin, according unto its light and guidance, is natural 


unto, and inseparable from, the conscience of man. But its 
readiness and ability, to exercise this condemning power, 
may by custom, and course of sinning in the world, be va- 
riously weakened and impeded. But when conscience is 
brought under the power of this work, having its directing 
light augmented, whereby it sees more of the evil of sin than 
formerly, and having its self-reflections sharpened and multi- 
plied, it is more ready and quick in putting forth its judging 
and condemning power than it was. (2.) Conscience is as- 
sisted and directed hereby to condemn many things in sin, 
which before it approved of. For its judging power is still 
commensurate unto its light. And many things are thereby 
now discovered to be sinful, which were not so by the mere 
natural guidance under which before it was. But yet not- 
withstanding all this, it doth not purge the conscience from 
dead works ; that is, conscience is not hereby wrought unto 
such an abhorrency of sin for itself, as continually to direct 
the soul unto an application to the blood of Christ, for the 
cleansing of itself, and the purging of it out. It contents 
itself to keep all things in a tumult, disorder, and confusion, 
by its constant condemning both sin and sinners. 

4. This work operates greatly on the affections. We have 
given instances in the fear, sorrow, joy, and delight, about 
spiritual things, that are stirred up and acted thereby. But 
yet it comes short in two things, of a thorough-work upon the 
affections themselves. For, (1.) it doth not fix them. And, 
(2.) it doth not fill them. (1.) It is required that our affec- 
tions be fixed on heavenly and spiritual things, and true 
grace will effect it. Col. iii. 1, 2. ' If ye be risen with 
Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sit- 
teth on the right hand of God. Set your affections on things 
above.' The joys, the fears, the hopes, the sorrows, with 
reference unto spiritual and eternal things, which the work 
before mentioned doth produce, are evanid, uncertain, un- 
stable; not only as to the degrees, but as to the very being 
of them. Sometimes they are as a river, ready to overflow 
its banks, men cannot but be pouring them out on all occa- 
sions. And sometimes as waters that fail, no drop comes 
from them. Sometimes they are hot, and sometimes cold; 
sometimes up, and sometimes down; sometimes all heaven, 
and sometimes all world, without equality, without stability. 

t 2 


But true grace fixeth the affections on spiritual things. As 
to the degrees of their exercise, there may be and is in them 
great variety, according as they may be excited, aided, as- 
sisted, by grace, and the means of it, or obstructed and im^ 
peded by the interposition of temptations and diversions. 
But the constant bent and inclination of renewed affections, 
is unto spiritual things, as the Scripture every where testi- 
■fieth, and experience doth confirm. (2.) The forementioned 
work doth not fill the affections; however, it may serve to 
take them up and pacify them. It comes like many strangers 
to an inn to lodge, which take up a great deal of room, and 
make an appearance, as if none were in the house but them-? 
selves ; and yet they turn not out the family which dwelleth 
•there, but there they make their abode still. Light and con- 
viction, with all their train and attendants, come into the 
mind and affections, as if they would fill them, and possess 
them for themselves alone. But yet when they have done 
all, they leave the quiet places of the house for the world, 
and sin, and self; they do not thrust them out of the affec- 
tions, and fill up their places with spiritual things, but sav- 
ing grace fills up the affections with spiritual things, fills the 
soul with spiritual love, joy, and delight, and exerciseth all 
other affections about their proper objects. It denies not a 
room to any other things, relations, possessions, enjoyments, 
merely as they are natural, and are content to be subordinate 
" unto God, and spiritual things. But if they would be car- 
nal, disorderly, or predominant, it casts them out. 

5. This work is oftentimes carried on very far in reforma- 
tion of life and conversation, so that it will express the whole 
form of godliness therein. But herein also it is subject unto 
a threefold defect and imperfection. For, (1.) it will consist 
with and allow of raging and reigning sins of ignorance. The 
conducting light in this work not leading into the abhor- 
rency of all sin as sin, nor into a pursuit of holiness, out of 
a design to be universally conformable unto Christ ; but 
being gathered up from this and that particular command, 
it oft-times leaves behind it great sins unregarded. So it 
left persecution in Paul before his conversion ; and so it 
leaves hatred and a desire of persecution in many at this day. 
And other sins of the like nature may escape its utmost 
.search to the ruin of the soul. (2.) Its reformation of the* 


conversation is seldom universal as to all hwivn sins, unless it 
be for a season, whilst the soul is under ajiagrant pursuit of 
self-righteousness. Paul in that condition had preserved 
himself, so as that according to the law he was blameless ; 
and the young man thought he had kept all the command- 
ments from his youth. But setting aside this consideration, 
notwithstanding the utmost that this work can attain unto, 
after the efficacy of its first impressions begin to abate, 
lust will reserve some peculiar way of venting and discover^ 
ing itself, which is much spoken unto. (3.) The conversa- 
tions of persons who live and abide under the power of this 
work only, is assuredly fading and decaying; coldness, sloth, 
negligence, love of the world, carnal-wisdom, and security, 
do every day get ground upon them. Hence, although by a 
long course of abstinence from open sensual sins, and stating 
of a contrary interest, they are not given up unto them ; yet 
by the decays of the power of their convictions, and the 
ground that sin gets upon them, they become walking and 
talking skeletons in religion, dry, sapless, useless, worldlings. 
But where the soul is inlaid with real savins; grace, it is in a 
state of thriving continually. Such an one will go on from 
strength to strength, from grace to grace, from glory to 
glory, and will be fat and flourishing in old age. By these 
things may we learn to distinguish in ourselves between the 
preparatory work mentioned, and that of real saving conver- 
sion unto God. And these are some of the "heads of those 
operations of the Holy Spirit on the minds of men, which 
oftentimes are preparatory unto a real conversion unto God ; 
and sometimes their contempt and rejection, a great aggra- 
vation of the sin and misery of them in whom they Avere 

And these things as they are clearly laid down in the 
Scripture, and exemplified in sundry instances, so for the 
substance of them they have been acknowledged (till of late) 
by all Christians ; only some of the Papists have carried 
them so far, as to make them formally dispositive unto justifi- 
cation, and to have a congruous merit thereof. But this the 
ancients denied, who would not allow that either any such 
preparation, or any moral virtues did capacitate men for real 
conversion, observing that others were often called before 


those who were so qualified 6 . And in them there are goads 
and nails, which have been fastened by wise and experienced 
masters of the assemblies, to the great advantage of the souls 
of men. For observing the usual ways and means whereby 
these effects are wrought in the minds of the hearers of the 
word, with their consequences, in sorrow, troubles, fear, and 
humiliations, and the courses which they take to improve 
them, or to extricate themselves from the perplexity of them, 
they have managed the rules of Scripture with their own and 
others experience suitable thereunto, to the great benefit of 
the church of God. That these things are now despised and 
laughed to scorn, is no part of the happiness of the age 
wherein we live, as the event will manifest. 

And in the meantime, if any suppose that we will forego 
those truths and doctrines which are so plainly revealed in 
the Scripture, the knowledge whereof is"so useful unto the 
souls of men, and whose publication in preaching hath been 
of so great advantage to the church of God, merely because 
they understand them not, and therefore reproach them, they 
w T illbe greatly mistaken. Let them lay aside that unchristian 
way of treating about these things which they have engaged 
in; and plainly prove that men need not be convinced of sin, 
that they ought not to be humbled for it, nor affected with 
sorrow with respect unto it; that they ought not to seek for 
a remedy or deliverance from it; that all men are not born 
in a state of sin; that our nature is not depraved by the fall; 
that we are able to do all that is required of us, without the 
internal aids and assistances of the Spirit of God, and they 
shall be diligently attended unto. 

e Nonne advertimus multos fideles nostros ambulantes viam Dei, ex nulla parte 
ingenio comparari; non dicam quorundani haereticorum, sed etiam minorum? Item 
nonne videmus quosdam homines utriusque sexus in conjugali castitate viventes sine 
querela, et tamen vel haereticos vel Paganos, vel etiam in vera fide et vera ecclesia 
sic tepidos, ut eos miremur meretricum et histrionum subito conversorum, non solum 
sapientia et temperantia, sed etiam fide, spe et charitate superari. August, lib. 2. 
Quaest. ad Simplician. q. 2. 






Contempt and corruption of the doctrine of regeneration. All men in the 
world regenerate or unregenerate. General description of corrupted na- 
ture. Depravation of the mind. Darkness upon it. The nature of spi- 
ritual darkness. Reduced into tivo heads of darkness objective. How 
removed. Of darkness subjective, its nature and power ; proved; Eph. 
iv. 17, 18. opened; applied. The mind alienated from the life of God. 
The life of God what it is. The power of the mind, with respect unto spi- 
ritual things, examined. 1 Cor. ii. 14. opened. Vvxikos avOpwiroe, or the 
natural man, who. Spiritual things, what they are. How the natural 
man cannot know or receive spiritual things. Difference between under- 
standing doctrines, and receiving of things. A tivof old power and ability 
of mind, with respect unto spiritual things, explained. Reasons why a 
natural man cannot discern spiritual things. How and wherefore spiri- 
tual things are foolishness to natural men. Why natural men cannot re- 
ceive the things of God. A double impotency in the mind of man by na- 
ture. 1 Cor. ii. 14. farther vindicated. Power of datkness in persons 
unregenerate. The mind filled with wills or lusts, and enmity thereby. The 
power and efficacy of spiritual darkness at large declared. 

We have, I hope, made our way plain for the due consider- 
ation of the great work of the Spirit in the regeneration of 
the souls of God's elect. This is that, whereby he forms 
the members of the mystical body of Christ, and prepares 
living stones for the building of a temple, wherein the living 
God will dwell. Now, that we may not only declare the 
truth in this matter, but also vindicate it from those corrup- 
tions wherewith some have endeavoured to debauch it, I 
shall premise a description lately given of it, with confi- 
dence enough, and it may be not without too much autho- 
rity. And it is in these words; 'What is it to be born 
again, and to have a new spiritual life in Christ, but to be- 
come sincere proselytes to the gosp,el ; to renounce all vi- 


cious customs and practices, and to give an upright and 
uniform obedience to all the laws of Christ; and, therefore, 
if they are all but precepts of moral virtue, to be born again, 
and to have a new spiritual life, is only to become a new 
moral man. But their account (speaking of nonconformist 
ministers) of this article, is so wild and fantastic, that had I 
nothing else to make good my charge against them, that 
alone would be more than enough to expose the prodigious 
folly of their spiritual divinity;' pp. 343, 344. I confess, 
these are the words of one, who seems not much to consider 
what he says, so as that it may serve his present turn, in re- 
viling and reproaching other men. For he considers not, 
that by this description of it, he utterly exoludes the bap- 
tismal regeneration of infants, which is so plainly professed 
by the church wherein he is dignified. But this is publicly 
declared, avowed, and vended, as allowed doctrine amongst 
us, and therefore deserves to be noticed, though the person 
that gives it out, be at irreconcilable feuds with himself and 
his church. Of morality and grace, an account shall be given 
elsewhere. At present, the work of regeneration is that which 
is under our consideration. And concerning this, those 
so severely treated, teach no other doctrine, but what, for the 
substance of it, is received in all the reformed churches in 
Europe, and which so many learned divines of the church of 
England confirmed with their suffrage at the synod of Dort. 
Whether this deserves all the scorn which this haughty per- 
son pours upon it by his swelling words of vanity, will to in- 
different persons be made appear in the ensuing discourse; 
as also what is to be thought of the description of it given 
by that author, which, whether it savour more of ignorance 
and folly, or of pride and fulsome errors, is hard to determine. 
I know some words in it, are used with the old Pelagian 
trick of ambiguity, so as to be capable of having another sense 
and interpretation put upon them, than their present use and 
design will admit of. But that artifice will be immediately 
rendered useless. 

There is a two-fold state of men with respect unto God, 
which is comprehensive of all individuals in the world. For 
all men are either unregenerate, or regenerate. There being 
an affirmation and a negation concerning the state of rege- 
neration in the Scripture, one of them may be used concern- 


ing every capable subject ; every man living is so, or he is 
not so ; and herein, as I suppose, there is a general consent of 
Christians. Again, it is evident in the Scripture, and we 
have proved it in our way, that all men are born in an unre- 
generate condition. This is so positively declared by our 
Saviour, that there is no rising up against it. John iii. 
3 — 8. Now regeneration being the delivery of men (or the 
means of it) from that state and condition wherein they are 
born, or are by nature, we cannot discover wherein it doth 
consist, without a declaration of that state which it gives us 
deliverance from. And this in the first place we shall insist 
upon at large, giving an account of the state of lapsed na- 
ture under a loss of the original grace of God. And these 
things I shall handle practically for the edification of all 
sorts of believers, and not in the way and method of the 
schools, which yet shall be done elsewhere. 

In the declaration of the state of corrupted nature after 
the fall, and before the reparation of it by the grace of Jesus 
Christ, that is, the effectual operation of the Holy Spirit, 
the Scripture principally insists on three things a . 1. The 
corruption and depravation of the mind ; which it calls by 
the name of darkness, and blindness, with the consequents of 
vanity, ignorance, and folly. 2. The depravation of the will 
and affections, which it expresseth several ways, as by weak- 
ness or impotenci/, and stubbornness or obstinacy. 3. By the ge- 
neral name of death, extended to the condition of the whole 
soul ; and these have various effects and consequences, as in 
our explanation of them will appear. 

I. All men by nature not enlightened, not renewed in 
their minds by the saving effectual operation of the Holy 
Spirit, are in a state of darkness and blindness, with respect 
unto God and spiritual things, with the way of pleasing 
him, and living unto him. Be men otherwise, and in other 
things never so wise, knowing, learned, and skilful ; in spi- 
ritual things they are dark, blind, ignorant, unless they are 
renewed in the spirit of their minds by the Holy Ghost. 
This is a matter which the world cannot endure to hear of, 

a Dico veterem Nativitatem atque adeo omnes vires naturae, qua naturali propa- 
gatione transfunduntur in sobolera in scriptura damnari ; nialedictam cordis nostri 
imaginationem, rationem, os, manus, pedes peccato et tenebris involutain nobis omnia. 
Johan. FerusinEvang. Job. cap. i. v. 23. Fide pcrditaspe relict a, in telligentj&obc&cata, 
Yoluntate captiva, homo quo in se reparetcr nun invenit. de Vocat. Gent. 1. 7. c. 3. 


and is ready to fall into a tumult upon its mention. They 
think it but an artifice which some weak men have got, to 
reflect on and condemn them who are wiser than themselves. 
On the like occasion did the Pharisees ask of our Saviour 
that question with pride and scorn ; ' Are we blind also V John 
ix. 40. But as he lets them know, that their presumption of 
light and knowledge would serve only to aggravate their sin 
and condemnation, ver. 41. so he plainly tells them, that not- 
withstanding all their boasting, 'they had not heard the voice 
of God at any time, nor seen his shape;' John v. 37. 

Some at present talk much about the power of the intel- 
lectual faculties of our souls, as though they were neither de- 
based, corrupted, impaired, nor depraved. All that disad- 
vantage which is befallen our nature by the entrance of sin, 
is but in the disorder of the affections, and the inferior sen- 
sitive parts of the soul, which are apt to tumultuate and re- 
bel against that pure untainted light which is in the mind. 
And this they speak of it, without respect unto its renova- 
tion by the Holy Spirit; for if they include that also, they 
are in their discourses most notorious confused triflers. In- 
deed some of them write, as if they had never deigned once 
to consult with the Scriptures, and others are plainly gone 
over into the tents of the Pelagians. But setting aside their 
modern artifices, of confident boasting, contemptuous re- 
proaches, and scurrilous railings, it is no difficult undertak- 
ing, so to demonstrate the depravation of the minds of men 
by nature, and their impotency thence to discern spiritual 
things in a spiritual manner b , without a saving effectual work 
of the Holy Spirit in their renovation ; as that the proudest 
and most petulant of them shall not be able to return any 
thing of a solid answer thereunto. And herein we plead for 
nothing but the known doctrine of the ancient catholic 
church, declared in the writings of the most learned fathers 
and determinations of councils against the Pelagians, whose 
errors and heresies are again revived among us, by a crew of 
Socinianized Arminians. 

We may to this purpose first consider the testimonies 
given in the Scripture unto the assertion as laid down in 
general ; Matt. iv. 16. 'The people which sat in darkness 

b Si quis per naturae vigorem evangelizanti predicationi nos consentire posse con- 
firmet absque illuniinatione Spiritus Sanctij hasretico fallitur Spiritu. Cone. Arau- 
sic. 2 Can. 7. 



saw great light, and to them that sat in the region and sha- 
dow of death, light is sprung up.' Of what kind this dark- 
ness was in particular shall be afterward declared. For the 
present it answers what is proposed, that before the illumi- 
nation given them by the preaching of the gospel, the peo- 
ple mentioned ' sat in darkness,' or lived under the power of 
it. And such as was the light whereby they were relieved, 
of the same kind was the darkness under which they were 
detained. And in the same sense, when Christ preached the 
gospel, ' the light shined into darkness, and the darkness 
comprehended it not;' John i. 5. gave not place to the light 
of the truth declared by him, that it might be received in the 
souls of men. The commission which he gave to Paul the 
apostle when he sent him to preach the gospel, was ' to open 
the eyes of men, and to turn them from darkness to light;' Acts 
xxvi. 18. not a light within them; for internal light is the 
eye, or seeing of the soul. But the darkness was such as 
consisted in their blindness, in not having their eyes open. 
• To open their eyes, and turn them from darkness ;' Eph. 
v. 8. ' Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in 
the Lord.' What is the change and alteration made in the 
minds of men intended in this expression will afterward ap- 
pear. But that a great change is proposed none can doubt; 
Col. i. 13. 'who hath delivered us from the power of dark- 
ness ;' as also, 1 Pet. ii. 9. ' who hath called us out of dark- 
ness into his marvellous light.' And the darkness which is 
in these testimonies ascribed unto persons in an unregene- 
rate condition, is by Paul compared to that which was at the 
beginning, before the creation of light ; Gen. i. 2. ' Darkness 
was upon the face of the deep.' There was no creature that 
had a visive faculty, there was darkness subjectively in all, 
and there was no light to see by, but all was objectively 
wrapped up in dar ness. In this state of things, God by an 
almighty act of his power created light ; ver. 3. ' God said, 
Let there be light, and there was light.' And no otherwise is 
it in this new creation. ' God, who commanded then light 
to shine out of darkness, shines into the hearts of men to 
give them the knowledge of his glory, in the face of Jesus 
Christ ;' 2 Cor. iv. 6. Spiritual darkness is in and upon all 
men, until God, by an almighty and effectual work of the 
Spirit, shine into them, or create light in them. And this 


darkness is that light within which some boast to be in them- 
selves and others. 

To clear our way in this matter, we must consider, first, 
the nature of this spiritual darkness, what it is, and wherein it 
doth consist; and then, secondly, shew its efficacy and power 
in and on the minds of men, and how they are corrupted by it. 

First, The term of darkness in this case is metaphorical, 
and borrowed from that which is natural. What natural 
darkness is, and wherein it consists, all men know; if they 
know it not in its cause and reason, yet they know it by its 
effects. They know it is that which hinders men from all 
regular operations, which are to be guided by the outward 
senses. And it is twofold ; 1. When men have not light to 
see by ; or, when the usual light, the only external medium 
for the discovery of distant objects, is taken from them. So 
was it with the Egyptians, during the ' three days' darkness' 
that was on their land. They could not see for want of 
light; they had their visive faculty continued unto them; 
yet, having 'no light,' they * saw not one another, nor arose 
any from his place;' Exod. x. 23. For God, probably to 
augment the terror of his judgment, restrained the virtue of 
artificial light, as well as he did that which was natural. 2. 
There is darkness unto men when they are blind, either born 
so, or made so. Psal. lxix. 29. ' Let their eyes be darkened 
that they may not see.' So the angel smote the Sodomites 
with blindness ; Gen. xix. 11. and Paul the sorcerer; Acts 
xiii. 11. However the sun shineth, it is all one perpetual 
night unto them that are blind. 

Answerable hereunto, spiritual darkness may be referred 
unto two heads. For there is an objective darkness, a dark- 
ness that is on men ; and a subjective darkness, a darkness that 
is in them. The first consists, in the want of those means 
whereby alone they may be enlightened in the knowledge 
of God and spiritual things. This is intended, Matt. iv. 16. 
This means is the word of God, and the preaching of it. 
Hence it is called ' a light;' Psal. cxix. 105. and is sad to 
 give light ;' Psal. xix. 8. or to be ' a light shining in a dark 
place ;' 2 Pet. i. 19. And it is so termed, because it is the 
outward means of communicating the light of the knowledge 
of God unto the minds of men. What the sun is unto the 
world; as unto things natural, that is the word and the 


preaching of it unto men as to things spiritual. And hence 
our apostle applies what is said of the sun in the firmament, 
as to the enlightening of the world, Psal.xix. 1 — 4. unto the 
gospel, and the preaching of it, Rom. x. 15. 18. 

And this darkness is upon many in the world, even all 
.unto whom the gospel is not declared, or by whom it is not 
received, where it is or hath been so. Some I know have 
entertained a vain imagination about a saving revelation of 
the knowledge of God, by the works of creation and provi- 
dence, objected to the rational faculties of the minds of men. 
It is not my purpose here to divert unto the confutation of 
that fancy. Were it so, it were easy to demonstrate, that 
there is no saving revelation of the knowledge of God unto 
sinners, but as he is in Christ reconciling the world unto 
himself; and that so he is not made known, but by the word 
of reconciliation committed unto the dispensers of the gos- 
pel. Whatever knowledge therefore of God may be attained 
by the means mentioned, as he is the God of nature ruling 
over men, and requiring obedience from them according to 
the covenant and law of their creation ; yet the knowledge 
of him as a God in Christ pardoning sin and saving sinners, 
is attainable by the gospel only. But this I have proved and 
confirmed elsewhere. 

It is the work of the Holy Spirit to remove and take 
away this darkness, which until it is done, no man can see 
the kingdom of God, or enter into it. And this he doth by 
sending the word of the gospel into any nation, country, 
place, or city, as he pleaseth. The gospel does not get 
ground in any place, nor is restrained from any place or 
people, by accident, or by the endeavours of men ; but it is 
sent and disposed of according to the sovereign will and 
pleasure of the Spirit of God. He gifteth, calls, and sends 
men unto the work of preaching it; Acts xiii. 2. 4. and dis- 
poseth them unto the places where they shall declare it, 
either by express revelation, as of old ; Acts xvi. 6 — 10. or 
guides them by the secret operations of his providence. Thus 
the dispensation of the ' light of the gospel,' as to times, 
places, and persons, depends on his sovereign pleasure ; 
Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20. Wherefore, although we are to take 
care and pray much about the continuance of the dispensa- 
tion of the gospel in any place, and its propagation in others ; 



yet need we not to be over-solicitous about it. This work 
and care the Holy Ghost hath taken on himself, and will 
carry it on according to the counsel of God and his purposes, 
concerning the kingdom of Jesus Christ in this world. And 
thus far the dispensation of the gospel, is only a causa sine 
qua non of the regeneration of men, and the granting of it 
depends solely on the will of the Spirit of God. 

It is subjective darkness which is of more direct and im- 
mediate consideration in this matter, the nature whereof 
with what it doth respect, and the influence of it on the 
minds of men must be declared, before we can rightly ap- 
prehend the work of the Holy Spirit, in its removal by rege- 

This is that whereby the Scripture expresseth the natural 
depravation and corruption of the minds of men, with respect 
unto spiritual things, and the duty that we owe to God ac- 
cording to the tenor of the covenant. And two things must 
be premised to our consideration of it; as, 

1. That I shall not treat of the depravation or corrup- 
tion of the mind of man by the fall, with respect unto things 
natural, civil, political, or moral, but merely with regard to 
things spiritual, heavenly, and evangelical. It were easy to 
evince, not only by testimonies of the Scripture, but by the 
experience of all mankind built on reason, and the observa- 
tion of instances innumerable, that the whole rational soul 
of man since the fall, and by the entrance of sin, is weak- 
ened, impaired, vitiated, in all its faculties, and all their 
operations about their proper and natural objects. Neither 
is there any relief against these evils, with all those unavoid- 
able perturbations wherewith it is possessed, and actually 
disordered in all its workings, but by some secret and hid- 
den operation of the Spirit of God, such as he continually 
exerts in the rule and government of the world. But it is 
concerning the impotency, defect, depravation, and perver- 
sity of the mind, with respect unto spiritual things alone, 
"that we shall treat at present. I say, then ; 

2. That by reason of that vice, corruption, or depravation, 
of the minds of all unregenerate men, which the Scripture 
calls darkness- and blindness, they are not able of themselves, 
by their own reasons and understandings, however exercised 
and improved, to discern, receive, understand, or believe 


savingly spiritual things, or the mystery of the gospel, when 
and as they are outwardly revealed unto them, without an 
effectual powerful work of the Holy Spirit creating, or by 
his almighty power inducing, a new saving light into them . 
Let it be supposed that the mind of a man be no way hurt 
or impaired by any natural defect, such as doth not attend 
the whole race of mankind, but is personal only and acci- 
dental ; suppose it free from contracted habits of vice, or 
voluntary prejudices : yet upon the proposal of the doctrine 
and mysteries of the gospel, let it be done by the most skil- 
ful masters of the assemblies, with the greatest evidence 
and demonstration of the truth ; it is not able of itself, spi- 
ritually and savingly, to receive, understand, and assent 
unto them, without the especial d aid, and assistance, and 
operation, of the Holy Spirit. To evince this truth, we may 
consider, in one instance, the description given us in the 
Scripture of the mind itself, and its operations, with respect 
unto spiritual things This we have, Eph. iv. 17, 18. 'This 
I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth 
walk not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind, 
having the understanding darkened, being alienated from 
the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, be- 
cause of the blindness of their heart.' It is of the Gentiles 
that the apostle speaks, but the apostle speaks of them, on 
the account of that which is common unto all men by na- 
ture. For he treats of their condition, with respect unto 
the faculties of their minds and souls, wherein there is, as 
unto the life of God or spiritual things, no difference natu- 
rally among men ; and their operations and effects are for 
the substance of them the same. 

c Quoraodo lux incassum circumfudit oculos cjecos vel clausos, ita animalis homo 
non percipit ea quae sunt Dei. Bernard. Ser. 1. sup. Cantic. 

d Si quis per naturae vigorembonum aliquod quod ad salutem pertinet vitae reter- 
nae cogitare ut expedit aut eligere, sive salutari, id est, Evangelicas prredicationi con- 
sentire posse confirraat, absque illuminatione et inspiratione Spiritus Sanctt, qui clat 
omnibus suavitatem consentiendo et credendo veritati, haeretico fallitur Spiritu. 
Cone. Arausican. can. 2. can. 7. 

Ideo dictum est quia nullus hoininum illuminator nisi illo Intuitu* veritatis quod 
Deus est; ne quisquam putaret ab eo se illuminari, a quo aliquid audit ut discat, 
non dico si quenquatn magnum hominem, sed nee si angelum ei contingni habere 
doctorem. Adhibetur enini serruo veritatis extrinsecus vocis niinisterio corporali ; 
verumtamen neque qui plantat est aliquid, neque qui rigat, sed qui iucrementum dat 
Deus. Audit quippe homo dicentem vel hominem vel angelum, sed ut sentiat et 
cognoscat verum esse quod dicitur, illo lumine mens ejus intus aspergitur, quod a:ter- 
num manet, quod etiam in tenebria lucet. August, de Peccator. Mentis et Remis- 
sione. lib. 1. c. 25. 


Some, indeed, give such an account of this text, as if the 
apostle had said, ' Do we not live after the Heathens, in the 
, vileness of those practices, and in their idol-worship ? That 
long course of sin having blinded their understandings, so 
that they see not that which by the light of nature they are 
enabled to see, and by that gross ignorance and obduration 
of heart, run into all impiety, are far removed from that 
life which God and nature require of them.' It is supposed 
in this exposition, (1.) That the apostle hath respect, in the 
first place, to the practices of the Gentiles, not to their 
state and condition. (2.) That this practice concerns only 
their idolatry and idol-worship. (3.) That what is here 
ascribed unto them, came upon them by a long course of 
sinning. (4.) That the darkness mentioned, consists in a 
not discerning of what might be seen by the light of na- 
ture. (5.) That their alienation from the life of God, con- 
sisted in running into that impiety which was distant or 
removed from the life that God and nature require. But all 
these sentiments are so far from being contained in the 
text, as that they are expressly contrary unto it. For, (1.) 
although the apostle doth carry on his description of this 
state of the Gentiles, unto the vile practices that ensued 
thereon; ver. 19. yet it is their state by nature, with re- 
spect unto the life of God, which is first intended by him. 
This is apparent from what he prescribes unto Christians in 
opposition thereunto ; namely, ' The new man which after 
God is created in righteousness and true holiness;' ver. 24. 
(2.) The vanity mentioned is subjective in their minds, and 
so hath no respect to idol-worship, but as it was an effect 
thereof. The vanity of their minds is the principle whereof 
this walking.be what it will, was the effect and consequent. 
(3.) Here is no mention nor intimation of any long course 
of sinning, much less that it should be the cause of the 
other things ascribed to the Gentiles, whereof indeed it was 
the effect. The description given, is that of the state of 
all men by nature, as is plain from chap. ii. 1 — 3. (4.) The 
darkness here mentioned, is opposed unto being ' light in 
the Lord;' chap. v. 8. which is not mere natural light, nor 
can any by that light alone discern spiritual things, or the 
things that belong to the life of God. (o.) The life of God 
here, is not that life which God and nature require, but that 


life which God reveals in, requires, and communicates by, 
the gospel through Jesus Christ, as all learned expositors 
acknowledge. Wherefore, the apostle treateth here of the 
state of men by nature, with respect unto spiritual and su- 
pernatural things. And three heads he reduceth all things 
in man unto. 1. He mentions rbv vovv, the ' mind.' 2. Ti)v 
Siavoiav, the ' understanding.' And, 3. Tbv mpStav, the 
' heart.' And all these are one entire principle of all our 
moral and spiritual operations ; and are all affected with the 
darkness and ignorance whereof we treat. 

1. There is 6 vovg, the ' mind.' This is the to i)yefxovacbv, 
the leading and ruling faculty of the soul. It is that in us 
which looketh out after proper objects, for the will and af- 
fections to receive and embrace. Hereby we have our first 
apprehensions of all things, whence deductions are made to 
our practice. And hereunto is ascribed fiarai6Tr\g, ' vanity ;' 
they walk in the vanity of their mind. Things in the Scrip- 
ture are said to be vain, which are useless and fruitless. 
Maraiog, ' vain,' is from jitarrjv, ' to no purpose ;' Matt. xv. 9. 
Hence the apostle calls the idols of the Gentiles, and the 
rites used in their worship, fiaraia, * vain things ;' Acts xiv. 15. 
So he expresseth the Hebrew, KW "bin ; Jonah ii. 8. ' lying 
vanities ;' or \\H, which is as much as avufeXlg, a thing- 
altogether useless and unprofitable, according to the descrip- 
tion given of them, 1 Sam. xii. 21. M&O l^J/v Hb TtfK innn 
7)ftr\ inn O l 1 ?^', ' Vain things which cannot profit, nor de- 
liver, for they are vain.' There is no profit in, nor use of, 
that which is vain. As the mind is said to be vain, or under 
the power of vanity, two things are intended. (1.) Its natural 
inclination unto things that are vain ; that is, such as are not 
a proper nor useful object unto the soul and its affections. 
It seeks about to lead the soul to rest and satisfaction, but 
always unto vain things, and that in great variety. Sin, the 
world, pleasures, the satisfaction of the flesh, with pride of 
life, are the things which it naturally pursues. And in act- 
ings of this nature a vain mind abounds ; it multiplies vain 
imaginations, like the sand on the sea-shore. These are 
called the figments of the hearts of men ; Gen. vi. 5. which 
are found to be only evil continually. These it feigns and 
frames, abundantly bringing them forth as the earth doth 
grass, or as a cloud pours out drops of water. And herein, 

VOL. II. u 


(2.) it is unstable. For that which is vain is various, incon- 
stant, unfixed, light, as a natural mind is ; so that it is like 
hell itself for confusion and disorder ; or the whorish woman 
described by Solomon; Prov. vii. 11, 12. And this hath 
befallen it by the loss of that fixed regularity which it was 
created in. There was the same cogitative or imaginative 
faculty in us in the state of innocency, as there remains 
under the pow T er of sin. But then all the actings of it were 
orderly and regular. The mind was able to direct them all 
unto the end for which we were made. God was, and would 
have been, the principal object of them, and all other things 
in order unto him. But now being turned off from him, the 
mind in them engageth in all manner of confusion ; and they 
all end in vanity or disappointment. They offer, as it were, 
their service unto the soul, to bring it in satisfaction. And 
although they are rejected one after another, as not answering 
what they pretend unto, yet they constantly arise under the 
same notion, and keep the whole soul under everlasting dis- 
appointments. And from hence it is that the mind cannot 
assent unto the common principles of religion in a due man- 
ner, which yet it cannot deny. This will be farther cleared 
afterward. Hereon, in conversion unto God, we are said to 
have ' our minds renewed ;' Rom. xii. 2. and to be ' renewed 
in the spirit of our minds;' Eph. iv. 23. By the mind the 
faculty itself is intended, the rational principle in us of ap- 
prehension, of thinking, discoursing, and assenting. This 
is renewed by grace, or brought into another habitude and 
frame, by the implantation of a ruling, guiding, spiritual 
light in it. The spirit of the mind is the inclination and 
disposition in the actings of it. These also must be regu- 
lated by grace. 

2. There is the diavoia, the ' understanding.' This is the 
to SiatcpiTiKov, the directive, discerning, judging faculty of the 
soul, that leads it unto practice. It guides the soul in the 
choice of the notions which it receives by the mind. And 
this is more corrijpt than the mind itself. For the nearer 
things come to practice, the more prevalent in them is 
the power of sin. This, therefore, is said to be darkened. 
And being so, it is wholly in vain to pretend a sufficiency 
in it to discern spiritual things, without a supernatural 
illumination. Light in the dispensation of the gospel shines, 


or casts out some rays of itself, into this darkened under- 
standing of men, but that receives it not; John i. 5. 

3. There is icapS'ia, the ' heart.' This in Scripture is 
to irpaKTLKov, in the soul the practical principle of operation, 
and so includes the will also. It is the actual compliance 
of the will and affections with the mind and understanding, 
with respect unto the objects proposed by them. Light 
is received by the mind, applied by the understanding, 
used by the heart. Upon this, saith the apostle, there is 
iriopoHTiQ, ' blindness.' It is not a mere ignorance, or incom- 
prehensiveness of the notions of truth that is intended, but 
a stubborn resistance of light and conviction. An obstinate 
and obdurate hardness is upon the heart, whence it rejects 
all the impressions that come upon it from notions of truth. 
And on these considerations men themselves before con- 
version are said to be 'darkness;' Eph. v. 8. There may be 
degrees in a moral privation ; but when it is expressed in the 
abstract, it is a sign that it is at its height, that it is total 
and absolute ; and this is spoken with respect unto spiritual 
and saving light only, or a saving apprehension of spiritual 
truths. There is not in such persons so much as any dis- 
position remaining to receive saving knowledge, any more 
than there is a disposition in darkness itself to receive light. 
The mind indeed remains a capable subject to receive it, but 
hath no active power nor disposition in itself towards it. 
And therefore when God is pleased to give us a new ability 
to understand and perceive spiritual things in a due manner, 
he is said to give us a new faculty, because of the utter dis- 
ability of our minds naturally to receive them ; 1 John v. 20. 
Let vain men boast whilst they please of the perfection and 
ability of their rational faculties, with respect unto religion, 
and the things of God ; this is the state of them by nature, 
upon his judgment that must stand for ever. 

And, by the way, it may not be amiss to divert here a little 
unto the consideration of that exposition which the whole 
world, and all things in it, give unto this text and testimony, 
concerning the minds of natural men being under the power 
of vanity, for this is the spring and inexhaustible fountain of 
all that vanity which the world is filled with. There is indeed 
a vanity which is penal, namely, that vexation and disap- 
pointment which men finally meet withal in the pursuit of 

v 2 


perishing things, whereof the wise man treats at large in his> 
Ecclesiastes. But I intend that sinful vanity which the mind 
itself produces, and that in all sorts of persons, ages, sexes, 
and conditions in the world. This some of the heathens saw, 
complained of, reproved, and derided, but yet could never 
reach to the cause of it, nor free themselves from being under 
the power of the same vanity, though in a way peculiar and 
distinct from the common sort, as might easily be demon- 
strated. But the thing is apparent, almost all that our eyes 
see, or our ears hear of, in the world, is altogether vain. All 
that which makes such a noise, such a business, such an ap- 
pearance and show among men, may be reduced unto two 
heads. (1.) The vanity that they bring into the things that are,, 
and that are either good in themselves, and of some use, or 
at least indifferent. So men do variously corrupt their build- 
ings and habitations, their trading, their conversation, their 
power, their wealth, their relations; they join innumerable 
vanities with them, which render them loathsome and con- 
temptible, and the meanest condition to be the most suitable 
to rational satisfaction. (2.) Men find out, and, as it were„ 
create things to be mere supporters, countenancers, and nou- 
rishes of vanity. Such in religion, are carnal pompous ce- 
remonies, like those of the church of Rome, which have no 
end, but to bring in some kind of provision for the satisfac- 
tion of vain minds; stage-players, mimics, with innumerable 
other things of the same nature, which are nothing but thea- 
tres for vanity to act itself upon. It were endless but to men- 
tion the common effects of vanity in the world; and men 
are mightily divided about these things. Those engaged in 
them, think it strange that others run not out into the ' same 
compass of excess and riot with themselves, speaking evil of 
them;' 1 Pet. iv. 4. They wonder at the perverse, stubborn, 
and froward humour, which befals some men, that they de- 
light not in, that they approve not of, those things and ways 
wherein they find so great a suitableness unto their own* 
minds. Others again are ready to admire whence it is that 
the world is mad on such vain and foolish things as it is 
almost wholly given up unto. The consideration we have in- 
sisted on, gives us a satisfactory account of the grounds and 
reasons hereof. The mind of man by nature is wholly 
vain, under the power of vanity, and is an endless fruitful 


womb of all monstrous births. The world is now growing 
towards six thousand years old, and yet is no nearer the bot- 
tom of the springs of its vanity, or the drawing out of its 
supplies, than it was the first day that sin entered into it. 
New sins, new vices, new vanities, break forth continually ; 
and all is from hence, that the mind of man by nature is 
altogether vain. Nor is there any way or means for putting 
a stop hereunto in persons, families, cities, nations, but so 
far as the minds of men are cured and renewed by the Holy 
Ghost. The world may alter its shape, and the outward ap- 
pearances of things, it may change its scenes, and act its 
part in new habits and dresses, but it will still be altogether 
vain, so long as natural uncured vanity is predominant in the 
minds of men, and this will sufficiently secure them from at- 
taining any saving acquaintance with spiritual things. 

Again, it is one of the principal duties incumbent on us to 
be acquainted with, and diligently to watch over, the remain- 
ders of this vanity in our own minds. The sinful distempers 
of our natures are not presently cured at once, but the heal- 
ing and removing of them is carried on by degrees unto the 
consummation of the course of our obedience in this world. 
And there are three effects of this natural vanity of the mind 
in its depraved condition to be found among believers them- 
selves. (1.) An instability in holy duties, as meditation, 
prayer, and hearing of the word; how ready is the mind to 
wander in them, and to give entertainment unto vain and 
fond imaginations, at least unto thoughts and apprehensions 
of things unsuited to the duties wherein we are engaged. 
How difficult is it to keep it up unto an even fixed stable 
frame of acting spiritually in spiritual things ? How is it 
ready at every breath to unbend and let down its intension f 
All we experience or complain of in this kind, is from the 
uncured relics of this vanity. (2.) This is that which inclines 
and leads men towards a conformity with and unto a vain 
world, in its customs, habits, and ordinary converse, which 
are all vain and foolish. And so prevalent is it herein, and 
such arguments hath it possessed itself withal to give it coun 
tenance, that in many instances of vanity it is hard to give 
a distinction between them and the whole world that lies 
under the power of it. Professors, it may be, will not com- 
ply with the world in the things before mentioned, that have 
no other use nor end, but merely to support, act, and nourish 


vanity; but from other things, which being indifferent in 
themselves, are yet filled with vanity in their use; how ready 
are many for a compliance with the course of the world r 
which lieth in evil and passeth away. (3.) It acts itself in 
fond and foolish imaginations, whereby it secretly makes 
provision for the flesh and the lusts thereof, fo they all ge- 
nerally lead unto self-exaltation and satisfaction. And these, 
if not carefully checked, will proceed to such an excess as 
greatly to taint the whole soul. And in these things lies the 
principal cause and occasion of all other sins and miscarriages. 
We have therefore no more important duty incumbent on us, 
than mightily to oppose this radical distemper. It is so also to 
attend diligently unto the remedy of it. And this consists, 
(1.) in a holy fixedness of mind, and an habitual inclination 
unto things spiritual, which is communicated unto us. by the 
Holy Ghost, as shall be afterward declared; Eph. iv. 23, 24. 
(2.) In the due and constant improvement of that gracious 
principle. [1.] By constant watchfulness against the minds 
acting itself in vain, foolish, unprofitable imaginations, so far 
at least that vain thoughts may not lodge in us. [2.J By 
exercising it continually unto holy spiritual meditations, 
' minding always the things that are above ;' Col. iii. 3. 
[3.] By a constant conscientious humbling of our souls, for 
all the vain actings of our minds that we do observe; all 
which might be usefully enlarged on, but that we must 

The minds of men unregenerate, being thus depraved and 
corrupted, being thus affected with darkness, and thereby 
being brought under the power of vanity, we may yet far- 
ther consider what other effects and consequents are on the 
same account ascribed unto it. And the mind of man in 
this state may be considered ; either, 1. as to its dispositions 
and inclinations. 2. As to its power and actings, with re- 
Bpect unto spiritual supernatural things. 

1. As to its dispositions, it is (from the darkness de- 
scribed) perverse and depraved, whereby men are alienated 
from the life of God ; Eph. iv. 18. for this alienation of men 
from the divine life, is from the depravation of their minds. 
Hence are they said to be ' alienated and enemies in their 
minds by wicked works,' or by their minds in wicked works, 
being fixed on them, and under the power of them; Col. i. 
21. And that we may the better understand what is in- 


tended hereby, we may consider both what is this life of 
God, and how the unregenerate mind is alienated from it. 

(1.) All life is from God. The life which we have in. 
common with all other Irving creatures is from him; A< 
xvii. 28. Psal. civ. 30. And, (2.) that peculiar vital life, 
which we have by the union of the rational soul with the 
body, is from God also, and that in an especial manner; 
Gen. ii. 7. Job x. 12. But neither of these are anywhere 
called the life of God. But it is an especial life unto God 
which is intended, and sundry things belong thereunto, or 
sundry things are applied unto the description of it. (1 .) It 
is the life which God requireth of us, that we may please 
him here, and come to the enjoyment of him hereafter. The 
life of faith and spiritual obedience by Jesus Christ ; Rom. 
i. 17. Gal. ii. 20. ' I live by the faith of the Son of God;' 
Rom. vi. 7. (2.) It is that life which God worketh in us, 
not naturally by his power, but spiritually by his grace ; 
and that both as to the principle and all the vital acts of it ; 
Eph. ii. 1. 5. Phil. ii. 13. (3.) It is that life whereby God 
liveth in us, that is, in and by his Spirit through Jesus 
Christ. Gal. ii. 20. ' Christ liveth in me ;' and where the 
Son is there is the Father;' whence also this life is said to 
be ' hid with him in God ;' Col. iii: 3. (4.) It is the life 
whereby we live to God, Rom. vi. 7. whereof God is the su- 
preme and absolute end, as he is the principal efficient cause 
of it. And two things are contained herein ; [1.] That we 
do all things to his glory. This is the proper end of all the 
acts and actings of this life ; Rom. xiv. 7, 8. [2.] That we 
design in and by k, to come unto the eternal enjoyment of 
him, as our blessedness and reward; Gen. xv. 1. (5.) It is 
the life whereof the gospel is the law and rule ; John vi. 68. 
Acts v. 20. (6.) A life, all whose fruits are holiness and 
spiritual evangelical obedience; Rom. vi. 22. Phil. i. 11. 
Lastly, It is a life that dieth not, that is not obnoxious unto 
' death, eternal life ; John xvii. 3. These things contain the 
chief concerns of that peculiar spiritual heavenly life, which 
is called the life of God. 

(2.) The carnal mind is alienated from this life; it hath 
no liking of it, no inclination to it, but carrieth away the 
whole soul with an aversation from it. And this alienation 
or aversation appears in two things ; [1.] In its unreadiness 


and unaptness to receive instructions, in and about the con- 
cernments of it. Hence are men dull and slow of heart to 
believe; Luke xxiv. 25. NwSpoi Tate atcocug, Heb. v. 11, 12. 
' heavy in hearing,' and slow in the apprehension of what 
they hear. So are all men towards what they do not like, 
but have an aversation from. This God complains of in the 
people of old ; ' My people are foolish, they have not known 
me ; they are sottish children, and have none understanding ; 
they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no know- 
ledge ;' Jer. iv. 22. [2.] In the choice and preferring of any 
other life before it. The first choice a natural mind makes, 
is of a life in sin and pleasure; which is but a death, a death 
to God, 1 Tim. v. 6. James v. 5. a life without the law, and 
before it comes ; Rom. vii. 9. This is the life which is 
suited to the carnal mind, which it desires, delights in, and 
which willingly it would never depart from. Again, if by 
afflictions or convictions, it be in part or wholly forced to 
forsake and give up this life; it will choose, magnify, and 
extol, amoral life, a life in, by, and under, the law, though at 
the last it will stand it in no more stead than the life of sin 
and pleasure, which it hath been forced to forego ; Rom. ix. 
32. x. 3. The thoughts of this spiritual life, this life of 
God, it cannot away with ; the notions of it are uncouth, the 
description of it is unintelligible, and the practice of it either 
odious folly or needless superstition. This is the disposition 
and inclination of the mind towards spiritual things, as it 
is corrupt and depraved. 

2. The power also of the mind, with respect unto its act- 
ings towards spiritual things may be considered. And this, 
in short, is none at all, in the sense which shall be explained 
immediately, Rom. v. 6. for this is that which we shall prove 
concerning the mind of a natural man, or of a man in the 
state of nature ; however it may be excited and improved, 
under those advantages of education and parts which it may 
have received; yet is not able, hath not a power of its own, 
spiritually and savingly, or in a due manner, to receive, em- 
brace, and assent unto, spiritual things, when proposed unto 
it in the dispensation and preaching of the gospel, unless 
it be renewed, enlightened, and acted, by the Holy Ghost. 

This the apostle plainly asserts, 1 Cor. ii. 14. ' The na- 
tural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for 


they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, 
because they are spiritually discerned.' 

First, The subject spoke of is, ^uy^koc avSpurrog, * ani- 
malis homo,' the ' natural man,' he who is a natural man. 
This epithet is in the Scripture opposed unto irvtvfiaTiKOQ, 
* spiritual,' 1 Cor. xv. 44. Jude 19. where ^v\ikol are described 
by wvevpa jurj eyovtec, such ' as have not the Spirit' of God. 
The foundation of this distinction, and the distribution of 
men into these two sorts thereby, is laid in that of our apo- 
stle, 1 Cor. xv. 45. lyevlro 6 Trpwrog avSpwTrog 'aSojU tig ipv\fiv 
Zwoav, 6 tiT^aroc 'A$ap, elg irvtvpa Z,u)ottoiovv' ' The first 
Adam was made a living soul.' Hence every man who hath 
no more but what is traduced from him, is called \pv\iK.bg ; 
he is a ' living soul,' as was the first Adam. And the ' last 
Adam is made a quickening spirit.' Hence he that is of him, 
partaker of his nature, that derives from him, is TrvtvfiaTiKog, 
a ' spiritual man.' The person therefore here spoken of, or 
\pv\iKog, is one that hath all that is or can be derived from 
the first Adam, one endowed with a • rational soul,' and who 
hath the use and exercise of all its rational faculties. 

Some who look upon themselves almost so near to ad- 
vancements, as to countenance them in magisterial dictates, 
and scornful reflections upon others, tell us, that by this 
natural man, ' a man given up to his pleasures, and guided 
by brutish affections,' and no other, is intended ; ' one that 
gives himself up to the government of his inferior faculties.' 
But no rational man, no one that will attend unto the dic- 
tates of reason, is at all concerned in this assertion. But 
how is this proved ? If we are not content with bare affirma- 
tions, we must at length be satisfied with railing and lying, 
and all sorts of reproaches. But the apostle in this chapter 
distributes all men living into TrvtvfiaTiicbi and i/w^iico*, ' spiri- 
tual' and ' natural.' He who is not a spiritual man, be he who 
and what he will, be he as rational as some either presume 
themselves to be, or would beg of the world to believe that 
they are, is a natural man. The supposition of a middle state 
of men is absolutely destructive of the whole discourse of 
the apostle as to its proper design. Besides, this of ^in^/coe 
avSpwirog is the best and softest term that is given in the 
Scripture to unregenerate men, with respect unto the things 
of God ; and there is no reason why it should be thought 


only to express the worst sort of them thereby. The Scrip- 
ture terms not men peculiarly captivated unto brutish affec- 
tions, avSpwiroi ipvxMoi, ' natural men/ but rather aXoya 
£wa Qvmtca, 2 Pet. ii. 12. ' natural brute beasts.' And Austin 
gives us a better account of this exposition, Tractat. 98. 
in Johan. ' Animalis homo. i. e. qui secundum hominem 
sapit, animalis dictus ab anima, carnalis a carne, quia ex 
animaet carne constat omnis homo, non percipit ea quae sunt 
Spiritus Dei, i. e. quid gratia credentibus conferat crux 
Christi.' And another; ' Carnales dicimur, quando totos 
nos voluptatibus damus ; spirituales, quando Spiritum Sanc- 
tum praevium sequimur ; id est, cum ipso sapimus instruente, 
ipso ducimur auctore. Animales reor esse philosophos qui 
proprios cogitatus putant esse sapientiam, de quibus recte 
dicitur, animalis autem homo non recipit ea quae sunt Spi- 
ritus, stultitia quippe est ei.' Hieronim. Comment, in Epist. 
ad Gal. cap. 5. And another, ^vx^bg iinnv 6 to irav roig 
Xoyiapolg Trig ^i>X*?C $i$ovg, koi pi) vopiZwv avwSiv rivog SeiaSai 
porfidag, oirep earlv dvoiag ; kol ydp ediOKev avrfjv 6 Oebg iva 
pavSavr], kol 0£ xjt]TaL to Trap avTov ; owk 'iva eavTr) avTrjv ctpicuv 
■voptZv- Keu yap ol b(j>Sa\po\ koXoI k<u x.pr}<npoi ; aAA' lav 
povkovTai Xix>pig (p(x>TOQ boav, ouSev avTovg to KaWog olvr^trev, 
ouot T) biKua, tax €> dWa. koi TrapafiXtnrTU. "Ovtoj toivvv t\ 
ipvx>1 zav j5ov\r)^TJ X w P l £ irvevparog fiXirreiv, ko.\ epnroSov eavTtj 
ytv&ri. Chrysost. in 1 Cor. ii. 15. 'The natural man is he 
who ascribes all things to the power of the reasonings of the 
mind, and doth not think that he stands in need of aid from 
above, which is madness. For God hath given the soul that 
it should learn and receive what he bestows, or what is from 
him, and not suppose that it is sufficient of itself, or to itself. 
Eyes are beautiful and profitable ; but if they would see 
without light, this beauty and power will not profit but hurt 
them. And the mind if it would see (spirituaf>things) with- 
out the Spirit of God, it doth but insnare itself/ And it is 
a sottish supposition, that there are a sort of unregenerate 
rational men, who are not under the power of corrupt affec- 
tions in and about spiritual things ; seeing the ' carnal mind 
is enmity against God/ This, therefore, is the subject of the 
apostle's proposition, namely, ' a natural man/ every one that 
is so, that is no more but so ; that is, every one who is not ' a 
spiritual man,' is not one who hath received the Spirit of 


Christ, ver. 11, 12. one that hath the spirit of a man enabling 
him to search and know the things of a man, or to attain 
wisdom in things natural, civil, or political. 

Secondly, There is in the words a supposition of the pro- 
posal of some things unto the mind of this natural man. For 
the apostle speaks with respect unto the dispensation and 
preaching of the gospel, whereby that proposal is made; 
ver. 4. 7. and these things are ra tov irvivfiaTog tov Qeov ; 
* the things of the Spirit of God ;' which are variously ex- 
pressed in this chapter : ver. 7. they are called the ' wisdom 
of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom that God hath or- 
dained ;' ver. 12. the things ' that are freely given unto us of 
God;' ver. 16. the 'mind of Christ;' ver. 2. 'Jesus Christ 
and him crucified.' And sundry other ways to the same 
purpose. Ther3 are in the gospel, eu d belong to the preach- 
ing of i . precepts innumerable concerning moral duties to 
be observed towards God, ourselves, and other men. And 
all these have a coincidence with, and a suitableness unto 
the inbred light of nature, because the principles of them all 
are indelibly ingrafted therein. These things being in some 
sense the ' things of a man,' may be known by the ' spirit of 
a man that is in him ;' ver. 1 1 . Howbeit, they cannot be ob- 
served and practised according to the mind of God, without 
the aid and assistance of the Holy Ghost. But these are 
not the things peculiarly here intended, but the mysteries, 
which depend on more sovereign supernatural revelation, 
and that wholly. Things ' that eye hath not seen, nor ear 
heard, nor have they entered into the heart of man to con- 
ceive;' ver. 9. Things of God's sovereign counsel, whereof 
there were no impressions in the mind of man, in his first 
creation; see Eph. iii. 8 — 11. 

Thirdly, That which is affirmed of the natural man, with 
respect unto these spiritual things, is doubly expressed. 
1. By ov Sey^tcu, 'he receiveth them not.' 2. By ov dvvarai 
yviovai, 'he cannot know them.' In this double assertion, 
(1). A power of receiving spiritual things is denied, he cannot 
know them. He cannot receive them. As Rom. vii. 8. ' The 
carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed 
can be;' and the reason hereof is subjoined ; because they 
are spiritually discerned, a thing which such a person hath 
no power to effect. (2). A will of rejecting them is implied. 


He receiveth them not, for the reason hereof is, because they 
are foolishness unto him. They are represented unto him 
under such a notion, as that he will have nothing to do with 
them. (3.) Actually (and that both because he cannot, and 
because he will not), he receives them not. The natural 
man neither can, nor will, nor doth, receive the things of the 
Spirit of God ; is altogether incapable of giving them ad- 
mission in the sense to be explained. 

To clear and free this assertion from objections, it must 
be observed, 

First, That it is not the mere literal sense of doctrines, or 
propositions of truth that is intended 6 . For instance, ' that 
Jesus Christ was crucified,' mentioned by the apostle, ver. 2. 
is a proposition, whose sense and importance any natural 
man may understand, and assent unto its truth, and so be 
said to receive it. And all the doctrines of the gospel may 
be taught and declared, in propositions and discourses, the 
sense and meaning whereof a natural man may understand. 
And in the due investigation of this sense, and judging 
thereon concerning truth and falsehood, lies that use of rea- 
son in religious things, which some would ignorantly con- 
found with an ability of discerning spiritual things in them- 
selves, and their own proper nature. This, therefore, is 
granted ; but it is denied that a natural man can receive the 
things themselves. There is a wide difference between the 
mind's receiving doctrines notionally, and its receiving the 
things taught in them really. The first a natural man can 
do. It is done by all, who by the use of outward means do 
know the doctrine of the Scripture, in distinction from igno- 
rance, falsehood, and error. Hence, men unregenerate are 
said ' to know the way of righteousness ; 2 Pet. ii. 21. that is, 
notionally and doctrinally ; for ' really,' saith our apostle, 
they ' cannot.' Hereon, they profess that they 'know God/ 
that is, the things which they are taught concerning him and 
his will,  whilst in works they deny him, being abominable 
and disobedient;' Tit. i. 16. Rom. ii. 17, 18. In the latter 

c Firmissime tcne et nallatenus dubites, posse quidera hominem, quern nee igno- 
rantia literarum, neque aliqua prohibetimbecillitas aut ad versitas, verba sanctw legis 
€t evangelii legere sive ex ore cujusdum praedicatoris audire; sed ut quod audit 
pereipiat e tiara corde, ut mandata Dei facere velit, nemo potest nisi quem Deus 
gratia sua praeveniret, data divinitus bona voluntate et virtute. August, de fide ad 
Petrnm, cap. 32. 


way they only receive spiritual things, in whose minds they 
are so implanted, as to produce their real and proper effects; 
Rom. xii. 2. Eph. iv. 22—24. And there are two things re- 
quired unto the receiving of spiritual things really, and as 
they are in themselves. 

1. That we discern, assent unto them, and receive them, 
under an apprehension of their conformity and agreeable- 
ness to the wisdom, holiness, and righteousness of God; 
1 Cor. i. 23, 24. The reason why men receive not Christ 
crucified, as preached in the gospel, is because they see not 
a consonancy in it unto the divine perfections of the nature 
of God. Neither can any receive it, until they see in it an 
expression of divine power and wisdom. This, therefore, 
is required unto our receiving the things of the Spirit of God 
in a due manner ; namely, that we spiritually see and discern 
their answerableness unto the wisdom, goodness, and holi- 
ness of God, wherein lies the principal rest and satisfaction 
of them that really believe. This a natural man cannot do. 

2. That we discern their suitableness unto the great ends 
for which they are proposed as the means of accomplishing. 
Unless we see this clearly and distinctly, we cannot but 
judge them weakness and foolishness. These ends being 
the glory of God in Christ, with our deliverance from a state 
of sin and misery, with a translation into a state of grace 
and glory ; unless we are acquainted with these things, and 
the aptness, and fitness, and power, of the things of the 
Spirit of God to effect them, we cannot receive them as we 
ouo-ht; and this a natural man cannot do. And from these 
considerations, unto which sundry others of the like nature 
might be added, it appears how, and whence it is, that a na- 
tural man is not capable of the things of the Spirit of God. 

Secondly, It must be observed that there is, or may be, 
a two-fold capacity or ability of receiving, knowing, or under- 
standing, spiritual things in the mind of a man. 

1. There is a natural power, consisting in the suitableness 
and proportionableness of the faculties of the soul, to receive 
spiritual things in the way that they are proposed unto us. 
This is supposed in all the exhortations, promises, precepts, 
and threatenings, of the gospel. For in vain would they be 
proposed unto us, had we not rational minds and under- 
standings to apprehend their sense, use, and importance; 


and also meet subjects for the faith, grace, and obedience, 
which are required of us. None pretend that men are, in 
their conversion to God, like stocks and stones, or brute 
beasts that have no understanding. For, although the work 
of our conversion is called, a • turning of stones into children 
of Abraham;' because of the greatness of the change, and 
because of ourselves we contribute nothing thereunto : yet 
if we were every way as such, as to the capacity of our na- 
tures, it would not become the wisdom of God to apply the 
means mentioned for effecting of that work. God is said, in- 
deed, herein to give us ' an understanding;' 1 John v. 20. but 
the natural faculty of the understanding is not thereby in- 
tended, but only the renovation of it by grace, and the actual 
exercise of that grace in apprehending spiritual things. 
There are two adjuncts of the commands of God : (1.) That 
they are equal. (2.) That they are easy, or not grievous. 
The former they have from the nature of the things com- 
manded, and the fitness of our minds to receive such com- 
mands ; Ezek. xxviii. 25. The latter they haveTrom the 
dispensation of the Spirit and grace of Christ, which renders 
them not only possible unto us, but easy for us. 

Some pretend, that whatever is required of us, or pre- 
scribed unto us in a way of duty, that we have a power in 
and of ourselves to perform*. If by this power, they intend 
no more, but that our minds, and the other rational facul- 
ties of our souls, are fit and meet, as to their natural capa- 
city, for and unto such acts, as wherein those duties do con- 
sist, it is fre.ely granted. For God requires nothing of us, 
but what must be acted in our minds'and wills, and which 
they are naturally meet and suited for. But if they intend 
such an active power and ability, as being excited by the 
motives proposed unto us, can of itself answer the commands 
of God in a due manner; they deny the corruption of our 
nature by the entrance of sin, and render the grace of Christ 
useless, as shall be demonstrated. 

f Magnum aliquid Pelagiani se scire putant quando dicunt, non juberet Deus 
quod sit non posse ab horaine fieri, quis hoc nesciat? sed ideo jubet aliquaquse non 
possumus utnoveriraus quid ab illo petere debeamus. Ipsa enira est quae orando 
iinpefrat, quod lex iniperat. August, de Grat. et lib. Arbit. cap. 19. 

Mandando impossibilia non prasvaiicatores Deus homines fecit sed hmniles, ut 
omne os obturetur et reus fiat totus mundus Deo; accipientes igitur matidatum, et 
sentientes defectum clamabimus ad coclum et miserabitur nostri Deus. Bernard. 
Serm. 50. in Cantic. 


2. There is, or may be, a. power in the mind to discern 
spiritual things, whereby it is so able to do it, as that it can 
immediately exercise that power in the spiritual discerning of 
them upon their due proposal unto it, that is, spiritually; as 
a man that hath a visive faculty sound and entire, upon the 
due proposal of visible objects unto him, can discern and 
see them. This power must be spiritual and supernatural. 
For whereas, to receive spiritual things, spiritually, is so to 
receive them as really to believe them with faith divine and 
supernatural, to love them with divine love, to conform the 
whole soul and affection unto them; Rom. vi. 17. 2 Cor. 
iii. 18. no natural man hath power so to do; this is that 
which is denied in this place by the apostle : wherefore, be- 
tween the natural capacity of the mind, and the act of spi- 
ritual discerning, there must be an interposition of an effec- 
tual work of the Holy Ghost enabling it thereunto ; 1 John 
v. 20. 1 Cor. iv. 6. 

Of the assertion, thus laid down and explained, the apo- 
stle gives a double reason; the first taken from the nature of 
the things to be known, with respect unto the mind and under- 
standing of a natural man ; the other from the way or manner 
whereby alone spiritual things may be acceptably discerned. 

1. The first reason, taken from the nature of the things 
themselves with respect unto the mind, is, that ' they are fool- 
ishness! In themselves they are the ' wisdom of God ;' 
2 Cor. ii. 7. Effects of the wisdom of God, and those which 
have the impress of the wisdom of God upon them ; and 
when the dispensation of them was said to be foolishness, 
the apostle contends not about it, but tells them, however, it 
is the ' foolishness of God ;' 1 Cor. i. 15. which he doth to 
cast contempt on all the wisdom of men, whereby the gos- 
pel is despised : and they are the ' hidden wisdom' of God ; 
such an effect of divine wisdom as no creature could make 
any discovery of; Eph. iii. 9, 10. Job xxviii. 20 — 22. And 
they are the ' wisdom of God in a mystery,' # or full of deep 
mysterious wisdom. But to the natural man they are fool- 
ishness, not only although they are the wisdom of God, but 
peculiarly because they are so, and as they are so; for the 
carnal mind is enmity against God. Now that is esteemed 
foolishness, which is looked on either as weak and imperti- 
nent, or as that which contains or expresseth means and 


ends disproportionate, or as that which is undesirable in, 
comparison of what may be set up in competition with it, 
or is on any other consideration not eligible, or to be com- 
plied with on the terms whereon it is proposed. And for 
one or other, or all of these reasons, are spiritual things, 
namely, those here intended, wherein the wisdom of God in 
the mystery of the gospel doth consist, foolishness unto a 
natural man; which we shall demonstrate by some instances. 

(1.) That they were so unto the learned philosophers of 
old, both our apostle doth testify, and the known experience 
of those first ages of the church makes evident ; 1 Cor. i. 22, 
23. 26 — 28. Had spiritual things been suited unto the minds 
or reasons of natural men, it could not be but that those 
who had most improved their minds, and were raised unto 
the highest exercise of their reasons, must much more rea- 
dily have received and embraced the mysteries of the gos- 
pel, than those who were poor, illiterate, and came many de- 
grees behind them in the exercise and improvement thereof. 
So we see it is as to the reception of any thing in nature or 
morality, which, being of any worth, is proposed unto the 
minds of men ; they are embraced soonest by them that are 
wisest and know most. But here things fell out quite other- 
wise ; they were the wise, the knowing, the rational, the 
learned men of the world, that made the greatest and longest 
opposition unto spiritual things ; and that expressly and 
avowedly, because they were foolishness unto them, and that 
on all the accounts before-mentioned ; and their opposition 
unto them they managed with pride, scorn, and contempt, 
as they thought foolish things ought to be handled. 

The profound ignorance and confidence whence it is that 
some of late are not ashamed to preach and print, that it 
was the learned, rational, wise part of mankind, as they were 
esteemed or professed of themselves ; the philosophers, 
and such as under their conduct pretended unto a life ac- 
cording to the dictates of reason, who first embraced the 
gospel, as being more disposed unto its reception than 
others, cannot be sufficiently admired or despised. Had they 
once considered what is spoken unto this purpose in the 
New Testament, or knew any thing of the entrances, growth, 
or progress of Christian religion in the World, they would 
themselves be ashamed of this folly. But every day in this 


matter, ' prodeunt oratores novi, stulti adolescentuli/ who 
talk confidently, whilst they know neither what they say, 
nor whereof they do affirm. 

2. The principal mysteries of the gospel, or the spiritual 
things intended, are by many looked on and rejected as 
foolish, because false and untrue. Though indeed they have 
no reason to think them false, but because they suppose 
them foolish ; and they fix upon charging them with falsity, 
to countenance themselves in judging them to be folly. 
Whatever concerns the incarnation of the Son of God ; the 
satisfaction that he made for sin and sinners ; the imputa- 
tion of his righteousness unto them that believe ; the effec- 
tual working of his grace in the conversion of the souls of 
men, which, with what belongs unto them, comprise the 
greatest part of the spiritual things of the gospel, are not 
received by many, because they are false as they judge. 
And that which induceth them so to determine, is because 
they look on them as foolish and unsuited unto the rational 
principles of their minds. 

3. Many plainly sco^Tat them, and despise them as the most 
contemptible notions that mankind can exercise their reasons 
about. Such were of old prophesied concerning; 2 Pet. 
iii. 3, 4. and things at this day are come to that pass. The 
world swarms with scoffers at spiritual things, as those 
which are unfit for rational, noble, generous spirits to come 
under a sense or power of, because they are so foolish. But 
these things were we foretold of, that when they came to 
pass we should not be troubled or shaken in our minds. 
Yea, the atheism of some, is made a means to confirm the 
faith of others. 

It is not much otherwise with some, who yet dare not 
engage into an open opposition to the gospel with them 
before mentioned. For they profess the faith of it, and 
avow a subjection to the rules and laws of it. But the 
things declared in the gospel may be reduced unto two 
heads, as was before observed : (1.) Such as consist in the 
confirmation, direction, and improvement of the moral prin- 
ciples and precepts of the law of nature. (2.) Such as flow 
immediately from the sovereign will and wisdom of God, 
being no way communicated unto us, but by supernatural 
revelation only. Such are all the effects of the wisdom and 



grace of God, as he was in Christ reconciling the world 
unto himself; the offices of Christ, his administration of 
them, and dispensation of the Spirit, with the especial, evan- 
gelical, supernatural graces and duties which are required in 
us with respect thereunto. The first sort of these things 
many will greatly praise and highly extol. And they will 
declare how consonant they are to reason, and what expres- 
sions suitable unto them may be found in the ancient phi- 
losophers. But it is evident that herein also they fall un- 
der a double inconvenience; for, [1.] mostly, they visibly 
transgress what they boast of as their rule, and that above 
others, tor where shall we meet with any, at least with 
many, of these sort of men, who, in any measure, comply 
with that modesty, humility, meekness, patience, self-denial, 
abstinence, temperance, contempt of the world, love of man- 
kind, charity and purity, which the gospel requires under this 
head of duties ? Pride, ambition, insatiable desires after 
earthly advantages and promotions, scoffing, scorn and con- 
tempt of others, vanity of converse, envy, wrath, revenge, 
railing, are none of the moral duties required in the gospel. 
And, [2.] no pretence of an esteem for any one part of the 
gospel, will shelter men from the punishment due to the 
rejection of the whole, by whom any essential part of it is 
refused. And this is the condition of many. The thing 3 
which most properly belong to the mysteries of the gospel, 
or the unsearchable riches of the grace of God in Christ 
Jesus, are foolishness unto them; and the preaching of them 
is called canting and folly. And some of these, although 
they gp not so far as the friar at Rome, who said, that ' St. 
Paul fell into great excesses in these things ;' yet they have 
dared to accuse his writings of darkness and obscurity, for 
no other reason, so far as I can understand, but because he 
insists on the declaration of these spiritual mysteries. And 
it is not easy to express what contempt and reproach is cast 
by some preachers on them. But it is not amiss that some 
have proclaimed their own shame herein, and have left it on 
record to the abhorrency of posterity. 

5. The event of the dispensation of the gospel mani- 
fested, that the spiritual things of it are foolishness to the 
most, for as such are they rejected by them: Isa. liii. 1 — 3. 
Suppose a man of good reputation for wisdom and sobriety,. 


should go unto others, and inform them, and that with ear- 
nestness, evidence of love to them, and care for them, with 
all kind of motives to beget a belief of what he proposeth, 
that by such ways as he prescribeth, they may exceedingly 
increase their substance in this world, until they exceed the 
wealth of kings a thing; that the minds of men in their con- 
trivance and designs are intent upon ; if in this case they 
follow not his advice, it can be for no other reason, but be- 
cause they judge the things proposed by him, to be no way 
suited or expedient unto the end promised ; that is, to be 
foolish things : and this is the state of things with respect 
unto the mysteries of the gospel. Men are informed in and 
by the ways of God's appointment, how great and glorious 
they are, and what blessed consequents there will be of a 
spiritual reception of them. The beauty and excellency of 
Christ, the inestimable privilege of divine adoption; the 
great and precious promises made unto them that do be- 
lieve ; the glory of the world to come ; the necessity and ex- 
cellency of holiness and gospel-obedience unto the attaining 
of everlasting blessedness, are preached unto men, and 
pressed on them with arguments and motives filled with 
divine authority and wisdom : yet, after all this we see, how 
few eventually do apply themselves with any industry to 
receive them, or at least actually do receive them ; ' for 
many are called, but few are chosen.' And the reason is, 
because, indeed, unto their darkened minds, these things are 
foolishness, whatsoever they pretend unto the contrary. 

Secondly, As the instance foregoing compriseth the rea- 
sons why a natural man will never receive the things of the 
Spirit of God, so the apostle adds a reason why he cannot ; 
and that is taken from the manner whereby alone they may 
be usefully and savingly received, which they cannot attain 
unto ; ' because they are spiritually discerned.' In this whole 
chapter he insists on an opposition between a natural and a 
spiritual man, natural things and spiritual things, natural 
light and knowledge, and spiritual. The natural man, he 
informs us, will, by a natural light, discern natural things. 
' The things of a man knoweth the spirit of a man.' And the 
spiritual man, by a spiritual light received from Jesus Christ, 
discerneth soiritual things. For * none knoweth the things 

x 2 


of God, but the Spirit of God, and he to whom he will re- 
veal them.' This ability the apostle denies unto a natural 
man. And this he proves, 1. Because it is the work of the 
Spirit of God, to endow the minds of men with that ability, 
which there were no need of, in case men had it of them- 
selves by nature. And, 2. (as he shews plentifully elsewhere) 
the light itself, whereby alone spiritual things can be spi- 
ritually discerned, is wrought, effected, created in us, by an 
almighty act of the power of God ; 2 Cor.' iv. 6. 

From these things premised it is evident, that there is 
a two-fold impotency on the minds of men with respect 
unto spiritual things : 1. That which immediately affects the 
mind, a natural impotency whence it cannot receive them, for 
want of light in itself; 2. That which affects the mind by 
the will and affections, a moral impotency, whereby it cannot 
receive the things of the Spirit of God, because unalterably 
it will not ; and that because from the unsuitableness of the 
object unto its will and affections, and the mind by them, 
they are foolishness unto it. 

1. There is in unregenerate men a natural impotency, 
through the immediate depravation of the faculties of the 
mind, or understanding, whereby a natural man is absolutely 
unable, without an especial renovation by the Holy Gliost, to 
discern spiritual things in a saving manner 8 . Neither is this 
impotency, although absolutely and naturally insuperable, 
and although it have in it also the nature of a punishment, 
any excuse or alleviation of the sin of men when they receive 
not spiritual things, as proposed unto them ; for although it 
be our misery, it is our sin ; it is the misery of our persons, 
and the sin of our natures. As by it there is an uncon- 
formity in our minds to the mind of God, it is our sin ; as it 
is a consequent of the corruption of our nature by the fall, 
it is an effect of sin ; and as it exposeth us unto all the en- 
suing evil of sin and unbelief, it is both the punishment 
and cause of sin. And no man can plead his sin or fault, 

E Innullo gloriundum, quia nihil nostrum est. Cyprian, lib. 3. ad Quirin. 

Fide perdita.spe relicta, intelligentia obcrecata, voluutate captiva, homo quainse 
reparatur non invenit. lib. 1. de Vocat. Gent. cap. 3. 

Quicunque tribuit sibi bonum quod facit, etiamsi nihil videtur mall manibus ope- 
rari, jam cordis innocentiam perdidit, in quo se largitori bouomm prrelulit. Hieron. 
in Prov. cap. 16. 


as an excuse of another sin in any kind. This impotency is 
natural ; because it consists in the deprivation of the light 
and power that was originally in the faculties of our minds 
or understandings, and because it can never be taken away 
or cured but by an immediate communication of a new spi- 
ritual power and ability unto the mind itself by the Holy 
Ghost in its renovation, so curing the depravation of the fa- 
culty itself. And this is consistent with what was before 
declared, the natural power of the mind to receive spiritual 
things : for that power respects the natural capacity of the 
faculties of our minds ; this impotency the depravation of 
them with respect unto spiritual things. 

2. There is in the minds of unregenerate persons a moral 
impotency, which is reflected on them greatly from the will 
and affections, whence the mind never will receive spiritual 
things; that is, it will always and unchangeably reject and 
refuse thern, and that because of various lusts, corruptions, 
and prejudices, invincibly fixed in them, causing them to look 
on them as foolishness. Hence it will come to pass, that no 
man shall be judged and perish at the last day merely on 
the account of his natural impotency. Every one to whom 
the gospel hath been preached, and by whom it is refused, 
shall be convinced of positive actings in their minds, reject- 
ing the gospel for the love of self, sin, and the world. Thus 
our Saviour tells the Jews, that 'no man can come unto him, 
unless the Father draw him ;' John vi. 44. Such is their na- 
tural impotency that they cannot, nor is it to be cured but 
by an immediate divine instruction or illumination, as it is 
written, ' they shall be all taught of God ;' ver. 45. But this 
is not all, he tells them elsewhere, ' you will not come unto 
me that you may have life ;' John v. 40. The present thing 
in question was not the power or impotency of their minds, 
but the obstinacy of their wills and affections which men 
shall principally be judged upon at the last day. For 'this 
is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and 
men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds 
are evil ;' John iii. 19. Hence it follows : 

That the will and affections being more corrupted than 
the understanding, as is evident from their opposition unto, 
and defeating of, its manifold convictions; no man doth ac- 
tually apply his mind to the receiving of the things of the 


Spirit of God to the utmost of that ability which he hath. 
For all unregenerate men are invincibly impeded therein, by 
the corrupt stubbornness and perverseness of their wills and 
affections. There is not in any of them a due improvement 
of the capacity of their natural faculties, in the use of means, 
for the discharge of their duty towards God herein. And 
what hath been pleaded, may suffice for the vindication of 
this divine testimony, concerning the disability of the mind 
of man in the state of nature, to understand and receive the 
things of the Spirit of God in a spiritual and saving manner, 
however they are proposed unto it; which those who are 
otherwise minded may despise whilst they please, but are no 
way able to answer or evade. 

And hence we may judge of that paraphrase and exposi- 
tion of this place which one hath given of late; ' But such 
things as these, they that are led only by the light of human 
reason, the learned philosophers, &c. do absolutely despise, 
and so hearken not after the doctrine of the gospel, for it 
seems folly to them. Nor can they by any study of their own 
come to the knowledge of them; for they are only to be had 
by understanding the prophecies of the Scripture, and other 
such means which depend on divine revelation, the voice 
from heaven, descent of the Holy C^iost, miracles,' &c. (1.) 
The natural man is here allowed to be the rational man, the 
learned philosopher, one walking by the light of human rea- 
son, which complies not with their exception to this testi- 
mony, who would have only such an one as is sensual and 
given up unto brutish affections to be intended. But yet 
neither is there any ground (though some countenance be 
given to it by Hierome) to fix this interpretation unto that 
expression. If the apostle may be allowed to declare his 
own mind, he tells us, that he intends every one of what sort 
and condition soever, ' who hath not received the Spirit of 
Christ.' (2.) Ov Sixtrat, is paraphrased by, ' doth absolutely 
despise;' which neither the word here, nor elsewhere, nor its 
disposal in the present connexion, will allow of, or give coun- 
tenance unto. The apostle, in the whole discourse, gives an 
account why so few received the gospel, especially of those 
who seemed most likely so to do, being wise and learned 
men; and the gospel being no less than the wisdom of God. 
And the reason hereof he gives from their disability to re- 


ceive the things of God, and their hatred of them, or opposi- 
tion to them, neither of which can be cured but- by the Spirit 
of Christ. (3.) The apostle treats not of what men could find 
out by any study of their own, but of what they did, and 
would do, and could do no otherwise, when the gospel was 
proposed, declared, and preached, unto them. They did not, 
they could not, receive, give assent unto, or believe, the spi- 
ritual mysteries therein revealed. (4.) This preaching of the 
gospel unto them, was accompanied with, and managed with, 
those evidences mentioned; namely, the testimonies of the 
prophecies of Scripture, miracles, and the like, in the same 
way and manner, and unto the same decree, as it was to- 
wards them by whom it was received and believed. In the 
outward means of revelation and its proposition, there was 
no difference. (5.) The proper meaning of ov S(\£tcu ' re- 
• ceiveth not,' is given us in the ensuing reason and explana- 
tion of it; oi> Svva-ai -yviovai, ' he cannot know them;' that is, 
unless he be spiritually enabled thereunto by the Holy Ghost. 
And this is farther confirmed in the reason subjoined, 'be- 
cause they are spiritually discerned.' And to wrest this unto 
the outw r ard means of revelation., which is directly designed 
to express the internal manner of the mind's reception of 
things revealed, is to wrest the Scripture at pleasure. How 
much better doth the description given by Chrysostom of a 
natural and spiritual man, give light unto and determine the 
sense of this place. ^v^ikoq av9pu)7rog, b Sia aaptca Z,uv, icett 
fii'lTTO) (jxjJTiG^eiQrbv vovv ola Trvivfiarog, aWa fiovqv Ttju e/n^vrov 
Kat avOpwTTivrjv uvvsaiv ^X <jJV > * v T ^ v airavrivv ^vyalg CfifidWu 
6 StifiLovpybg. ' A natural man is he who lives in or by the 
flesh, and hath not his mind as yet enlightened by the Spi- 
rit ; but only hath that inbred human understanding which 
the Creator hath endued the minds of all men withal.' And 6 
7>viV}xaTiKbg,b Sia TTVcV/ia Z,uiv (JHVTiaSdg tov vovv. Aia Trvev fiarog, 
ov juovrjv ri]V tu^urov kou avBpsi)TTivr\v avvtaiv tyivv, aXXa /xaX- 
Xov ri)v xaptaSaZaav TrvevfiaTiKr}v, 'iv twv ttittmv \pv)(cug tfjipaXXti 
to ujlov irvhvfia. ' The spiritual man is he who liveth by the 
Spirit, having his mind enlightened by him ; having not only 
an inbred human understanding, but rather a spiritual under- 
standing, bestowed on him graciously ; which the Holy Ghost 
endues the minds of believers withal.' But we proceed. 
Having cleared the impotency to discern spiritual things 


spiritually, that is, in the minds of natural men, by reason of 
their spiritual blindness, or that darkness which is in them; it 
remains that we consider what is the power and efficacy of this 
darkness, to keep them in a constant and unconquerable 
aversion from God and the gospel. To this purpose, some 
testimonies of Scripture must be also considered. For not- 
withstanding all other notions and disputes in this matter, 
for the most part compliant with the inclinations and affec- 
tions of Corrupted nature, by them must our judgments be 
determined, and into them is our faith to be resolved. I say 
then, that this spiritual darkness hath a power over the 
minds of men to alienate them from God; that is, this which 
the Scripture so calleth, is not a mere privation, with an im- 
potency in the faculty ensuing thereon; but a depraved habit, 
which powerfully, and, as unto them in whom it is, unavoidably 
influenceth their wills and affections into an opposition unto 
spiritual things; the effects whereof the world is visibly 
filled withal at this day. And this I shall manifest, first in 
general, and then in particular instances. And by the whole 
it will be made to appear, that not only the act of believing 
and turning unto God, is the sole work and effect of grace, 
which the Pelagians did not openly deny, and the semi-pela- 
gians did openly grant; but also that all power and ability 
for it, properly so called, is from grace also. 

(1.) Col. i. 13. We are said to be delivered, ek t)~iq l^ovaiag 
tov (tkotouc; from ' the power of darkness.' The word sig- 
nifies such a power as consists in authority or rule, that 
bears sway, and commands them who are obnoxious unto it. 
Hence the sins of men, especially those of a greater guilt 
than ordinary, are called ' works of darkness;' Eph. v. 11. 
not only such as are usually perpetrated in the dark, but such 
as the darkness also of men's minds doth incline them unto, 
and naturally produce. That also which is here called the 
' power of darkness,' is called the ' power of Satan;' Acts 
xxvi. 18. For I acknowledge that it is not only or merely the 
internal darkness, or blindness of the minds of men in the state 
of nature that is here intended, but the whole state of dark- 
ness, with what is contributed thereunto by Satan and the 
world. This the prophet speaks of, Isa. lx. 2. ' Behold, dark- 
ness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people, but 
the Lord shall arise upon thee.' Such a darkness it is as no- 


thing can dispel, but the light of the Lord arising on and in 
the souls of men; but all is resolved into internal darkness. 
For Satan hath no power in men, nor authority over them, but 
what he hath by means of this darkness. For by this alone 
doth that prince of the power of the air work effectually in 
the children of disobedience ; Eph. ii. 2. Hereby doth he 
seduce, pervert, and corrupt them; nor hath he any way to 
fortify and confirm their minds against the gospel, but by in* 
creasing this blindness or darkness in them ; 2 Cor. iv. 4. 

An evidence of the power and efficacy of this darkness, 
we may find in the devil himself. The apostle Peter tells us, 
that the angels who sinned are ' kept unto judgment under 
chains of darkness;' 2 Pet. ii. 4. It is plain that there is an 
allusion in the words unto the dealings of men with stubborn 
and heinous malefactors. They do not presently execute 
them upon their offences, nor when they are first apprehend- 
ed. They must be kept unto a solemn day of trial and judgv 
ment. But yet to secure them that they make no escape, they 
are bound with chains which they cannot deliver themselves 
from. Thus God deals with fallen ano-els. For, although 
yet they go to and fro in the earth, and walk up and down 
in it, as also in the air, in a seeming liberty, and at their 
pleasure, yet are they under such chains as shall securely 
hold them unto the great day of their judgment and exe- 
cution. That they may not escape their appointed doom, 
they are held in ' chains of darkness.' They are always so 
absolutely and universally under the power of God, as that 
they are not capable of the vanity of a thought for the sub- 
ducting themselves from under it. But whence is it that in 
all their wisdom, experience, and long-continued prospect 
which they have had of their future eternal misery, none of 
them ever have attempted, or ever will, a mitigation of their 
punishment or deliverance from it, by repentance and com- 
pliance with the will of God? This is alone from their own 
darkness, in the chains whereof they are so bound ; that 
although they believe their own everlasting ruin, and trem- 
ble at the vengeance of God therein, yet they cannot but con- 
tinue in their course of mischief, disobedience, and rebellion. 
And although natural men are not under the same obdurate- 
ness with them, as having a way of escape and deliverance 
provided for them, and proposed unto them, which they have 



not; yet this darkness is no less effectual to bind them in a 
state of sin, without the powerful illumination of the Holy 
Ghost, than it is in the devils themselves. And this may be 
farther manifested by the consideration of the instances 
wherein it puts forth its efficacy in them. 

First, It fills the mind with enmity against God, and all 
the things of God. Col. i. 21. ' You were enemies in your 
minds:' Rom. viii. 7. 'The carnal mind is enmity against 
God, it is not subject unto the law of God, neither indeed 
can it be.' And the carnal mind, there intended, is that 
which is in every man who hath not received, who is not 
made partaker of, the Spirit of God, in a peculiar saving* 
manner, as is at large declared in the whole discourse of the 
apostle; ver. 5, 6. 9 — 11. So that the pretence is vain and 
directly contradictory to the apostle, that it is only one sort 
of fleshly sensual unregenerate men, whom he intends. This 
confidence, not only in perverting, but openly opposing, of 
the Scripture, is but of a late date, and that which few of 
the ancient enemies of the grace of God did rise up unto. 
Now God in himself, is infinitely good and desirable. ' How 
great is his goodness ! How great is his beauty !' Zech. ix. 17. 
There is nothing in him but what is suited to draw out, to 
answer and fill, the affections of the soul. Unto them that 
know him, he is the only delight, rest, and satisfaction. 
Whence then doth it come to pass, that the minds of men 
should be filled and possessed with enmity against him? 
Enmity against, and hatred of, him who is absolute and infi- 
nite goodness, seem incompatible unto our human affec- 
tions. But they arise from this darkness, which is the cor- 
ruption and depravation of our nature; by the ways that 
shall be declared. 

It is pretended and pleaded by some in these days, that 
upon an apprehension of the goodness of the nature of God, 
as manifested in the works and light of nature, men may, 
without any other advantages, love him above all, and be 
accepted with him. But as this would render Christ and 
the gospel, as objectively proposed, if not useless, yet not 
indispensably necessary, so I desire to know how this enmity 
ao-ainst God, which the minds of all natural men are filled 
withal, if we may believe the apostle, comes to be removed 
and taken away, so as that they should love him above all, 


seeing these things are absolute extremes and utterly irre- 
concilable ?. This must be either by the power of the mind 
itself upon the proposal of God's goodness unto it, or by the 
effectual operation in it and upon it of the Spirit of God. 
Any other way is not pretended unto; and the latter, is that 
which we contend for. And as to the former, the apostle 
supposeth the goodness of God, and the proposal of this 
goodness of God unto the minds of men ; not only as re- 
vealed in the works of nature, but also in the law and gospel, 
and yet affirms that the carnal mind, which is in every man, 
is enmity against him. And in enmity, there is neither dis- 
position nor inclination to love. In such persons, there can 
be no more true love of God, than is consistent with enmity 
to him and against him. 

All discourses, therefore, about the acceptance they 
shall find with God, who love him above all for his goodness, 
without any farther communications of Christ or the Holy 
Spirit unto them, are vain and empty, seeing there never was, 
nor ever will be, any one dram of such love unto God in the 
world. For whatever men may fancy concerning the love of 
God, where this enmity arising from darkness is unremoved 
by the Spirit of grace and love, it is but a self-pleasing with 
those false notions of God, which this darkness sua-prests 
unto them. With these they either please themselves or are 
terrified, as they represent things to their corrupt reason and 
fancies. Men in this state, destitute of divine revelation, 
did of old seek after God, Acts xvii. 27. as men groping in 
the dark. And although they did in some measure find him 
and know him, so far as that from the things that were made 
they came to be acquainted with his eternal power and God- 
head ; Rom. i. 20, 21, yet he was still absolutely unto them 
the unknown God ; Acts xvii. 23. whom they ignorantly 
worshipped ; that is, they directed some worship to him in 
the dedication of their altars, but knew him not; ov dyvoovv 
Teg tvatfielre. And that they entertained all of them false 
notions of God, is from hence evident that none of them, 
either by virtue of their knowledge of him, did free them- 
selves from gross idolatry, which is the greatest enmity unto 
him ; or did not countenance themselves in many impieties 
or sins, from those notions they had received of God and 
his goodness; Rom. i. 20, 21. The issue of their disquisi- 


tions after the nature of God was, that ' they glorified him 
not, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish 
hearts were darkened.' Upon the common principles of the 
first being and the chiefest good, their fancy or imaginations 
raised such notions of God, as pleased and delighted them, 
and drew out their affections; which was not, indeed, unto 
God and his goodness, but unto the effect and product of 
their own imaginations. And hence it was, that those that 
had the most raised apprehensions concerning the nature, 
being, and goodness of God, with the highest expressions of 
a constant admiration of him and love unto him, when by 
any means the true God, indeed, was declared unto them as 
he hath revealed himself, and as he will be known, these 
great admirers and lovers of divine goodness were constantly 
the greatest opposers of him, and enemies unto him. And 
an uncontrollable evidence this is, that the love of divine 
goodness, which some do fancy, in persons destitute of su- 
pernatural revelation and other aids of grace, was in the best 
of them placed on the products of their own imaginations, 
and not on God himself. 

But omitting them, we may consider the effects of this 
darkness working by enmity in the minds of them who have 
the word preached unto them. Even in these, until effectu- 
ally prevailed on by victorious grace, either closely or openly 
it exerts itself. And however they may be doctrinally in- 
structed in true notions concerning God and his attributes, 
yet in the application of them unto themselves, or in the 
consideration of their own concernment in them, they always 
err in their hearts. All the practical notions they have of 
God, tend to alienate their hearts from him; and that either 
by contempt, or by an undue dread and terror. For some 
apprehend him slow and regardless of what they do, at least 
one that is not so severely displeased with them, as that it 
should be necessary for them to seek a change of their state 
and condition. They think that God is such an one as them- 
selves ; Psal. 1. 21. at least that he doth approve them, and 
will accept them, although they should continue in their 
sins. Now this is a fruit of the highest enmity against God, 
though palliated with the pretence of the most raised notions 
and apprehensions of his goodness. For as it is a heinous 
crime to imagine an outward shape of the divine nature, 


and that God is like to men or beasts, the height of the sin 
of the most gross idolaters; Rom. i. 23. Psal. cvi. 20. so it 
is a sin of a higher provocation, to conceive him so far like 
unto bestial men, as to approve and accept of them in their 
sins. Yet this false notion of God, even when his nature 
and will are objectively revealed in the word, this darkness 
doth and will maintain in the minds of men, whereby they 
are made obstinate in their sin to the uttermost. And where 
this fails, it will on the other hand represent God all fire and 
fury, inexorable and untractable. See Micah vi. 6. Isa. 
xxxiii. 14. Gen. iv. 13. 

Moreover, this darkness fills the mind with enmity against 
all the ways of God. For as • the carnal mind is enmity 
against God,' so 'it is not subject unto his law, neither can 
so be.' So the apostle informs us, that men are ' alienated 
from the life of God,' or dislike the whole way and work of 
living unto him, by reason of the ignorance and blindness 
that is in them; Eph. iv. 18. and it esteems the whole rule 
and measure of it to be foolishness ; 1 Cor. i. 18. 20. But I 
must not too long insist on particulars, although in these 
days, wherein some are so apt to boast in proud swelling 
words of vanity, concerning the power and sufficiency of 
the mind, even with respect unto religion and spiritual 
things, it cannot be unseasonable to declare what is the 
judgment of the Holy Ghost, plainly expresseed in the Scrip- 
tures in this matter ; and one testimony thereof will be of 
more weight with the disciples of Jesus Christ, than a thou- 
sand declamations to the contrary. 

Secondly, This darkness fills the mind with wills or per- 
verse lusts that are directly contrary to the will of God ; 
Eph. ii. 3. There are ^eXi'ifiara Siavoiiov, the ' wills or lusts 
of the mind ;' that is, the habitual inclinations of the mind 
unto sensual objects. It ' minds earthly things ;' Phil. iii. 19. 
And hence the mind itself is said to be fleshly ; Col. ii. 18. 
As unto spiritual things, it is born of the flesh, and is flesh. 
It likes, savours, approves of, nothing but what carnal, sen- 
sual, and vain. Nothing is suited unto it, but what is either 
curious, or needless, or superstitious, or sensual and earthly. 
, And, therefore, are men said to walk in the vanity of their 
minds. In the whole course of their lives they are influenced 
by a predominant principle of vanity. And in this state the 


thoughts and imaginations of the mind are always set on 

work to provide sensual objects for this vain and fleshly- 
frame ; hence are they said to ' be evil continually ;' Gen. 
vi. 5. This is the course of a darkened mind. Its vain frame 
or inclination, the fleshly will of it stirs up vain thoughts 
and imaginations ; it ' minds the things of the flesh ;' Rom. 
viii. 5. These thoughts fix on, and represent unto the mind, 
objects suited unto the satisfaction of its vanity and lust. 
With these the mind committeth folly and lewdness, and the 
fleshly habit thereof is thereby heightened and confirmed; 
and this multiplies imaginations of its own kind, whereby 
men 'inflame themselves;' Isa. lvii. 5. waxing worse and 
worse. And the particular bent of these imaginations, doth 
answer the predominancy of any especial lust in the heart 
or mind. 

It will be objected, That although these things are so in 
many, especially in persons that are become profligate in 
sin, yet proceeding from their wills and corrupt sensual af- 
fections, they argue not an impotency in the mind to discern 
and receive spiritual things; but notwithstanding these enor- 
mities of some, the faculty of the mind is still endued with 
a power of discerning, judging, and believing, spiritual things 
in a due manner. 

Ans. 1. We do not now discourse concerning the weak- 
ness and disability of the mind, in and about these things, 
which is as it were a natural impotency, like blindness in the 
eyes, which hath been both explained and confirmed before. 
But it is a moral disability, and that as unto all the powers 
of nature invincible, as unto the right receiving of spiritual 
things, which ensues on that corrupt depravation of the mind 
in the state of nature, that the Scripture calls darkness or 
blindness, which we intend. 

2. Our present testimonies have sufficiently confirmed, 
that all the instances mentioned, do proceed from the depra- 
vation of the mind. And whereas this is common unto, and 
equal in, all unregenerate men, if it produce not in all 
effects to the same degree of enormity, it is from some beams 
of light, and secret convictions from the Holy Spirit, as we 
shall afterward declare. 

3. Our only aim is to prove the indispensable necessity 
of a saving work of illumination on the mind, to enable it to 


receive spiritual things spiritually, which appears sufficiently 
from the efficacy of this darkness, whence a man hath no 
ability to disentangle or save himself. For, also, 

Thirdly, It fills the mind yv\t\\ prejudices against spiritual 
things, as proposed unto them in the gospel. And from these 
prejudices it hath neither light nor power to extricate itself. 
No small part of its depravation consists in its readiness to 
embrace them, and pertinacious adherence unto them. Some 
few of these prejudices may be instanced. 

1. The mind, from the darkness that is in it, apprehends 
that spiritual things, the things of the gospel, as they are 
proposed, have an utter inconsistency with true contentment 
and satisfaction. These are the things which all men by va- 
rious ways do seek after. This is the scent and chase which 
they so eagerly pursuai in different tracks, and paths innu- 
merable. Something they would attain or arrive unto, which 
should satisfy their minds and fill their desires. And this 
commonly before they have had any great consideration of 
the proposals of the gospel, they suppose themselves in the 
way at least unto, by those little tastes of satisfaction unto 
their lusts, which they have obtained in the ways of the 
world. And these hopeful beginnings they will not forego. 
Isa. lvii. 10. ' Thou art wearied in the greatness of thy way; 
yet saidst thou not, There is no hope ; thou hast found the 
life of thine hand, therefore thou wast not grieved.' They 
are ready oft-times to faint in the pursuit of their lusts, be- 
cause of the disappointments which they find in them, or 
the evils that attend them. For which way soever they turn 
themselves in their course, they cannot but see, or shrewdly 
suspect, that the end of them is, or will be, vanity and vex- 
ation of spirit. But yet they give not over the pursuit 
wherein they are engaged; they say not, 'There is no hope.' 
And the reason hereof is, because they 'find the life of their 
hand.' Something or other comes in daily, either from the 
work that they do, or the company they keep, or the expec- 
tation they have, which preserves their hope alive, and makes 
them unwilling to forego their present condition. They find 
it to be none of the best, but do not think there can be a 
better. And, therefore, their only design is to improve or 
to thrive in it. If they might obtain more mirth, more wealth , 
more strength and health, more assurance of their lives, 


more power, more honour, more suitable objects unto their 
sensual desires, then they suppose it would be better than 
it is ; but as for any thing which differeth from these in the 
whole kind, they can entertain no respect for it. In this 
state and condition, spiritual things, the spiritual myste- 
rious things of the gospel are proposed unto them. At first 
view they judge that these things will not assist them in 
the pursuit or improvement of their carnal satisfactions. 
And so far they are in the right, they judge not amiss. The 
things of the gospel will give neither countenance nor help 
to the lusts of men. Nay, it is no hard matter for them to 
come to a discovery, that the gospel being admitted in the 
power of it, will crucify and mortify those corrupt affections, 
which hitherto they have been given up to the pursuit of. 
For this it plainly declares, Col. iii.^l — 5. Tit. ii. 11, 12. 

There are but two things wherein men seeking after con- 
tentment and satisfaction are concerned. First, The ob- 
jects of their lusts or desires, and then those lusts and de- 
sires themselves. The former may be considered in their 
own nature, so they are indifferent ; or as they are capable of 
being abused to corrupt and sinful ends. In the first way, 
as the gospel condemns them not, so it adds nothing to 
them unto those by whom it is received. It gives not men 
more riches, wealth, or honour, than they had before in the 
world. It promises no such thing unto them that do receive 
it, but rather the contrary. The latter consideration of them, 
it condemns and takes away. And for the desires of men 
themselves, the avowed work of the gospel is to mortify 
them. And hereby the naturally corrupt relation, which is 
between these desires and their objects, is broken and dis- 
solved. The gospel leaves men, unless upon extraordinary 
occasions, their names, their reputations, their wealth, their 
honours, if lawfully obtained and possessed. But the league 
that is between the mind and these things in all natural men 
must be broken. They must no more be looked on as the 
chiefest good, or in the place thereof, nor as the matter of 
satisfaction, but must give place to spiritual, unseen, eternal 
things. This secretly alienates the carnal mind, and a pre- 
judice is raised against it, as that which would deprive the 
soul of all its present satisfaction, and offers nothing in the 
room of them that is suitable to any of its desires or affec- 

OF THE MIND BY 6lX. 321 

tions. For by reason of the darkness that it is under the 
power of, it can neither discern the excellency of the spi- 
ritual and heavenly things which are proposed unto it, nor 
have any affections whereunto they are proper and suited, 
so that the soul should go forth after them. Hereby this 
prejudice becomes invincible in their souls. They neither do, 
nor can, nor will, admit of those things which are utterly in- 
consistent with all things, wherein they hope or look for 
satisfaction. And men do but please themselves with dreams 
and fancies, who talk of such a reasonableness and excellency 
in gospel truths, as that the mind of a natural man will dis- 
cern such a suitableness in them unto itself, so as thereon 
to receive and embrace them. Nor do any, for the most part, 
give a greater evidence of the prevalency of the darkness 
and enmity that is in -carnal minds, against the spiritual 
things of the gospel, as to their life and power, than those 
who most pride and please themselves in such discourses. 

2. The mind by this darkness, is filled with prejudices 
against the mystery of the gospel in a peculiar manner. The 
hidden spiritual wisdom of God in it as natural men cannot 
receive, so they do despise it ; and all the parts of its decla- 
ration they look upon as empty and unintelligible notions. 
And this is that prejudice whereby this darkness prevails in 
the minds of men, otherwise knowing and learned; it hath 
done so in all ages, and in none more effectually than in that 
which is present. But there is a sacred, mysterious, spi- 
ritual wisdom in the gospel, and the doctrine of it. This is 
fanatical, chimerical, and foolish, to the wisest in the world, 
whilst they are under the power of this darkness. To demon- 
strate the truth hereof, is the design of the apostle Paul ; 
1 Cor. i. ii. For he directly affirms that the doctrine of the 
gospel, is the wisdom of God in a mystery; that this wis- 
dom cannot be discerned nor understood by the wise and 
learned men of the world, who have not received the Spirit 
of Christ; and therefore, that the things of it are weak- 
ness and foolishness unto them. And that which is fool- 
ish, is to be despised; yea, folly is the only object of con- 
tempt. And hence we see that some with the greatest 
pride, scorn, and contempt, imaginable, do despise the pu- 
rity, simplicity, and whole mystery of the. gospel, who 
yet profess they believe it. But to clear the whole na- 



ture of this prejudice, some few things may be distinctly 

(1.) There are two sorts of things declared in the gospel. 
First, Such as are absolutely its own, that are proper and pe- 
culiar unto it; such as have no footsteps in the law, or in 
the light of nature, but are of a pure revelation peculiar to 
the gospel. Of this nature, are all things concerning the 
love and will of God in Christ Jesus. The mystery of his 
incarnation, of his offices, and whole mediation, of the dis- 
pensation of the Spirit, and our participation thereof, and 
our union with Christ thereby; our adoption, justification, 
and effectual sanctification, thence proceeding; in brief, 
every thing that belongs unto the purchase and application 
of saving-grace, is of this sort. These things are purely and 
properly evangelical, peculiar to the gospel alone. Hence the 
apostle Paul, unto whom the dispensation of it was com- 
mitted, puts that eminency upon them, that in comparison, 
he resolved to insist on nothing else in his preaching ; 1 Cor. 
ii. 2. And to that purpose doth he describe his ministry; 
Eph. iii.7— 11. 

(2.) There are such things declared and enjoined in the 
gospel, as have their foundation in the law and light of na- 
ture. Such are all the moral duties which are taught therein. 
And two things may be observed concerning them: [1.] 
That they are in some measure known unto men aliunde 
from other principles. The inbred concreated light of na- 
ture, doth, though obscurely, teach and confirm them. So 
the apostle, speaking of mankind in general, saith, to jvuhttov 
tov Geou (j>avepov e'otiv iv avrolg, Rom. i. 19. ' That which 
may be known of God, is manifested in themselves.' The 
essential properties of God rendering our moral duty to him 
necessary, are known by the light of nature. And by the 
same light, are men able to make a judgment of their ac- 
tions, whether they be good or evil; Rom. ii. 14, 15. And 
this is all the light which some boast of, as they will one 
day find to their disappointment. [2.] There is on all men 
an obligation unto obedience answerable to their light con- 
cerning these things. The same law and light which disco- 
vereth these things, doth also enjoin their observance. Thus 
is it with all men, antecedently unto the preaching of the 
gospel unto them. 


In this estate, the gospel superadds two things unto the 
minds of men. 1st. It directs us unto a right performance 
of these things, from a right principle, by a right rule, and 
to a right end and purpose, so that they and we in them may 
obtain acceptance with God. Hereby it gives them a new 
nature, and turns moral duties into evangelical obedience. 
2nd. By a communication of that Spirit which is annexed 
unto its dispensation, it supplies us with strength for their 
performance, in the manner it prescribes. 

Hence it follows, that this is the method of the gospel. 
First, It proposeth and declareth things which are properly 
and peculiarly its own. So the apostle sets down the con- 
stant entrance of his preaching ; 1 Cor. xv. 3. It reveals its 
own mysteries to lay them as the foundation of faith and 
obedience. It inlays them in the mind, and thereby con- 
forms the whole soul unto them: see Rom. vi. 17. Gal. iv. 
19. Tit. ii. 11, 12. 1 Cor. iii. 11. 2 Cor. iii. 18. This foun- 
dation being laid, without which, it hath as it were nothing 
to do with the souls of men, nor will proceed unto any other 
thing, with them by whom this its first work is refused, it 
then grafts all duties of moral obedience on this stock of faith 
in Christ Jesus. This is the method of the gospel, which the 
apostle Paul observeth in all his Epistles. First, He de- 
clares the mysteries of faith that are peculiar to the gospel, 
and then descends unto those moral duties which are regu- 
lated thereby. 

But the prejudice we mentioned, inverts the order of these 
things. Those who are under the power of it, when on va- 
rious accounts they give admittance unto the gospel in ge- 
neral, yet they fix their minds, firstly and principally, on the 
things which have their foundation in the law and light of 
nature. These they know and have some acquaintance with 
in themselves, and therefore cry them up, although not in 
their proper place, nor to their proper end. These they 
make the foundation, according to the place which they held 
in the law of nature and covenant of works, whereas the 
gospel allows them to be only necessary superstructions 
on the foundation. But resolving to give unto moral du- 
ties the pre-eminence in their minds, they consider after- 
ward the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, with one or other 
of these effects : For, 1 . Some in a manner wholly despise them, 

y 2 


reproaching those by whom they are singularly professed. 
What is contained in them, is of no importance in their 
judgment, compared with the more necessary duties of mo- 
rality, which they pretend to embrace; and to acquit them- 
selves of the trouble of a search into them, reject them as 
unintelligible or unnecessary. Or, 2. they will by forced 
interpretations, enervating the spirit, and perverting the 
mystery of them, square and fit them to their own low and 
carnal apprehensions. They would reduce the gospel, and 
all the mysteries of it, to their own light as some, to reason 
as others, to philosophy as the rest ; and let them who com- 
ply not with their weak and carnal notions of things, ex- 
pect all the contemptuous reproaches which the proud pre- 
tenders unto science and wisdom of old, cast upon the apo- 
stles and first preachers of the gospel. Hereby advancing 
morality above the mystery and grace of the gospel, they 
at once reject the gospel, and destroy morality also; for 
taking it off from its proper foundation, it falls into the dirt, 
whereof the conversation of the men of this persuasion, is 
no small evidence. 

From this prejudice it is, that the spiritual things of the 
gospel, are by many despised and contemned. So God spake 
ofEphraim; Hos. viii. 12. ' I have written to him the great 
things of the law, but they were counted as a strange thing.' 
The things intended were VT1W 12") the ' great, manifold, 
various things of the law.' That which the law was then 
unto that people, that is the gospel now unto us. The ' To- 
rah' was the entire means of God's communicating his mind 
and will unto them, as his whole counsel is revealed unto 
us by the gospel. These things he wrote unto them, or 
made them in themselves and their revelation plain and per- 
spicuous. But when all was done, they were esteemed by 
them ~tf 1DD, as is also the gospel, 'a thing foreign' and alien 
unto the minds of men, which they intend not to concern 
themselves in. They will heed the things that are cognate 
unto the principles of their nature, things morally good or 
evil; but for the hidden wisdom of God in the mystery of 
the gospel, it is esteemed by them as ' a strange thing.' And 
innumerable other prejudices of the same nature, doth this 
darkness fill the minds of men withal, whereby they are 
powerfuLy, and as unto any light or strength of their own, 


invincibly kept off from receiving of spiritual things in a 
spiritual manner. 

Again, The power and efficacy of this darkness, in and 
upon the souls of unregenerate men, will be farther evidenced 
by the consideration of its especial subject, or the nature 
and use of that faculty which is affected with it. This is 
the mind or understanding. Light and knowledge, are in- 
tellectual virtues or perfections of the mind ; and that in 
every kind whatever, whether in things natural, moral, or 
spiritual. The darkness whereof we treat, is the privation 
of spiritual light, or the want of it. And, therefore, are they 
opposed unto one another: 'You were darkness, but are 
light in the Lord;' Eph. v. 8. It is, therefore, the mind or 
understanding, which is affected with this darkness, which 
is vitiated and depraved by it. 

Now the mind may be considered two ways : 1. As it is 
theoretical or contemplative, discerning and judging of things 
proposed unto it. So it is its office to find out, consider, 
discern, and apprehend, the truth of things. In the case be- 
fore us, it is the duty of the mind to apprehend, understand, 
and receive, the truths of the gospel as they are proposed 
unto it, in the manner of, and unto, the end of their pro- 
posal. This, as we have manifested, by reason of its depra- 
vation, it neither doth, nor is able to do ; John i. 5. 2 Cor. 
ii. 14. 2. It may be considered as it is practical, as to the 
power it hath to direct the whole soul, and determine the 
will unto actual operation according to its light. I shall 
not inquire at present whether the will as to the specification 
of its acts, do necessarily follow the determination of the 
mind or practical understanding. I aim at no more, but 
that it is the directive faculty of the soul as unto all moral 
and spiritual operations. Hence it follows : 

(1.) That nothing in the soul, nor the will and affections, 
can will, desire, or cleave unto any good, but what is pre- 
sented unto them by the mind, and as it is presented. That 
good whatever it be which the mind cannot discover, the 
will cannot choose, nor the affections cleave unto. All their 
actings about and concerning them, are not such as answer 
their duty. This our Saviour directs us to the consideration 
of; Matt. vi. 22,23. 'The light of the body is the eye, if 
therefore thine eye be single, the whole body shall be full of 


light. But if thine eye be evil, the whole body shall be full of 
darkness ; if therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, 
how great is that darkness V As the eye is naturally the light 
of the body, or the means thereof, so is the mind unto the 
soul. And if darkness be in the eye, not only the eye but 
the whole body is in darkness, because in the eye alone is 
the light of the whole ; so if the mind be under darkness, the 
whole soul is so also, because it hath no light but by the 
mind. And hence both is illumination sometimes taken for 
the whole work of conversion unto God, and the spiritual 
actings of the mind by the renovation of the Holy Ghost, are 
constantly proposed, as those which precede any gracious 
actings in the will, heart, and life ; as we shall shew afterward. 

(2.) As the soul can no way, by any other of its faculties, 
receive, embrace, or adhere unto, that good in a saving manner, 
which the mind doth not savingly apprehend ; so where the 
mind is practically deceived, or any way captivated under the 
power of prejudices, the will and the affections, can no way 
free themselves from entertaining that evil which the mind 
hath perversely assented unto. Thus where the mind is re- 
probate or void of a sound judgment; so as to call good evil, 
and evil good ; the heart, affections, and conversation will 
be conformable thereunto ; Rom. i. 28, 29. And in the 
Scripture, the deceit of the mind is commonly laid down as 
the principle of all sin whatever; 1 Tim. ii. 14. Heb. iii. 12, 
13. 2 Cor. xi. 3. 

And this is a brief delineation of the state of the mind of 
man whilst unregenerate, with respect unto spiritual things. 
And from what hath been spoken, we do conclude that the 
mind in the state of nature is so depraved, vitiated, and cor- 
rupted, that it is not able, upon the proposal of spiritual things 
unto it in the dispensation and preaching of the gospel, to 
understand, receive, and embrace them, in a spiritual and 
saving manner, so as to have the sanctifying power of them 
thereby brought into and fixed in the soul, without an inter- 
nal, especial, immediate, supernatural, effectual, enlightening 
act of the Holy Ghost; which what it is, and wherein it doth 
consist, shall be declared. 




Of death in sin. All unregenerate men spiritually dead. Spiritual death 
two-fold. Moral. Metaphorical. Life natural, what it is, and wherein 
it consists. Death natural, with its necessary consequents. The super- 
natural life of Adam in innocency, in its principle, acts, and power. Dif- 
ferences between it and our spiritual life in Christ. Death spiritual a 
privation of the life we had in Adam; a negation of the life of Christ. 
Privation of a principle of all life to God. Spiritual impotency therein. 
Differences between death natural and spiritual. The use of precepts, 
promises, and threatenings. No man perisheth merely for want of power. 
No vital acts in an estate of death ; the way of the communication of spi- 
ritual life. Of what nature are the best worhs of persons unregenerate. 
No disposition unto spiritual life under the power of spiritual death. 

Another description that the Scripture gives of unregene- 
rate men as to their state and condition, is, that they are spi- 
ritually dead. And hence, in like manner, it follows, that there 
is a necessity of an internal, powerful, effectual work of the 
Holy Ghost on the souls of men, to deliver them out of this state 
and condition by regeneration. And this principally respects 
their wills and affections, as the darkness and blindness be- 
fore described doth their minds and understandings. There 
is a spiritual life whereby men live unto God ; this they being 
strangers unto, and alienate from, are spiritually dead. And 
this the Scripture declares concerning all unregenerate per- 
sons, partly in direct words, and partly in other assertions of 
the same importance. Of the first sort the testimonies are 
many and express ; Eph. ii. 1. 'You were dead in trespasses 
and sins ;' ver. 5. ' When you were dead in sins ;' Col. ii. 13. 
' And you being dead in your sins, and the uncircumcision of 
your flesh ;' 2 Cor. v. 14. ' If one died for all, then were all 
dead;' Rom. v. 15. 'Through the offence of one many are 
dead;' ver. 12. 'Death passed on all men, for that all have 


sinned.' And the same is asserted in the second way, where 
the recovery and restoration of men by the grace of Christ 
is called their quickening, or the bestowing of a new life upon 
them. For this supposeth that they were dead, or destitute 
of that life which in this revivification is communicated unto 
them. For that alone can be said to be quickened, which 
was dead before. See Eph. ii. 5. John v. 21. vi. 63. 

This death that unregenerate persons are under is two- 
fold: 1. Legal, with reference unto the sentence of the law. 
The sanction of the law was, that upon sin man should die. 
' In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt die the death ;' 
Gen. ii. 17. Upon this sentence, Adam and all his posterity 
became dead in law, morally dead, or obnoxious unto death 
penally, and adjudged unto it. This death is intended in 
some of the places before mentioned ; as Rom. v. 12. and it 
may be also, 2 Cor. v. 14. For as Christ died, so were all 
dead. He died penally under the sentence of the law, and 
all were obnoxious unto death, or dead on that account. 
But this is not the death which I intend, neither are we 
delivered from it by regeneration, but by justification ; 
Rom. viii. 1. 

2. There is in them a spiritual death, called so meta- 
phorically from the analogy and proportion that it bears unto 
death natural. Of great importance it is to know the true 
nature hereof, and how, by reason thereof, unregenerate men 
are utterly disabled from doing any thing that is spiritually 
good, until they are quickened by the almighty power and 
irresistible efficacy of the Holy Ghost. Wherefore, to de- 
clare this aright, we must consider the nature of life and 
death natural ; in allusion whereunto, the spiritual estate of 
unregenerate men is thus described: 

Life in general, or the life of a living creature, is, Actus 
vivificantis in vivificatum per unionem utriusque, ' The act of a 
quickening principle on a subject to be quickened, by virtue 
of their union.' And three things are to be considered in it. 

1. The principle of life itself. And this in man is the 
rational living soul; called D»n nfti£n, Gen. ii. 7. 'God 
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became 
a living soul.' Having formed the body of man of the dust 
of the earth, he designed him a principle of life superior unto 
that of brute creatures, which is but the exurgency and spirit 


of their temperature and composition, though peculiarly 
educed by the formative virtue and power of the Holy Ghost, 
as hath been before declared. He creates for him, therefore, 
a separate, distinct, animating soul, and infuseth it into the 
matter prepared for its reception. And as he did thus in 
the beginning of the creation of the species, or kind of hu- 
man race, in its first individuals, so he continueth to do the 
same in the ordinary course of the works of his providence for 
the continuation of it. For having ordained the preparation 
of the body by generation, he immediately infuseth into it the 
living soul, the breath of life. 

2. There is the actus primus, or the quickening act of this 
principle on the principle quickened in and by virtue of 
union. Hereby the whole man becomes irn ttfD3 a ' living 
soul ;' ^v\iKoq tivOpuTTog, a person quickened by a vital 
principle, and enabled for all naturally vital actions. 

3. There are the acts of this life itself. And they are of 
two sorts. (1.) Such as flow from life ; as life. (2.) Such as 
proceed from it ; as such a life, from the principle of a ra- 
tional soul. Those of the first sort are natural and necessary ; 
as are all the actings and energies of the senses, of the loco- 
motive faculty, as also what belongs unto the receiving and 
improving of nutriment. These are acts of life ; whence the 
Psalmist proves idols to be dead things, from the want of 
them ; so far are they from having a divine life, as that they 
have no life at all ; Psal. cxv. 4 — 7. These are acts of life 
as life, inseparable from it, and their end is, to preserve the 
union of the whole, between the quickening and quickened 
principles. (2.) There are such acts of life as proceed from 
the especial nature of this quickening principle. Such are 
all the elicit and imperate acts of our understandings and 
wills ; all actions that are voluntary, rational, and peculiarly 
human. These proceed from that special kind of life, which 
is given by the especial quickening principle of a rational soul. 

Hence it is evident wherein death natural doth consist. 
And three things may be considered in it. (1.) The separa- 
tion of the soul from the body. Hereby the act of infusing 
the living soul, ceaseth unto all its ends. For as a principle 
of life unto the whole, it operates only by virtue of its union 
with the subject to be quickened by it. (2.) A cessation of 
all vital actings in the quickened subject. For that union 



from whence they should proceed is dissolved. (3.) As a con- 
sequent of these, there is in the body an impotency for, and 
an ineptitude unto, all vital operations. Not only do all 
operations of life actually cease, but the body is no more 
able to effect them. There remains in it, indeed, potentia 
obedientialis, a ' passive power' to receive life again, if com- 
municated unto it by an external efficient cause. So the 
body of Lazarus being dead, had a receptive power of a living 
soul. But an active power to dispose itself unto life or vital 
actions, it hath not. 

From these things we may, by a just analogy, collect 
wherein life and death spiritual do consist. And to that end 
some things must be previously observed. As, 1. That 
Adam in the state of innocency, besides his natural life, 
whereby he was a living soul, had likewise a supernatural 
life, with respect unto its end whereby he lived unto God. 
This is called, the 'life of God;' Eph. iv. 18. which men 
now in the state of nature are alienated from ; the life which 
God requires, and which hath God for its object and end. 
And this life was in him supernatural; for although it was 
concreated in, and with the rational soul, as a perfection due 
unto it, in the state wherein, and with respect unto, the end 
for which it was made ; yet it did not naturally flow from 
the principles of the rational soul ; nor were the principles, 
faculties, or abilities of it, inseparable from those of the soul 
itself, being only accidental perfections of them, inlaid in 
them by especial grace. This life was necessary unto him, 
with respect unto the state wherein, and the end for which, 
he was made. He was made to live unto the living God, 
and that in a peculiar manner ; to live unto his glory in this 
world, by the discharge of the rational and moral obedience 
required of him, and to live afterward in his glory, and the 
eternal enjoyment of him as his chiefest good and highest 
reward. That whereby he was enabled hereunto, was that 
life of God, which we are alienated from in the state of na- 
ture. 2. In this life, as in life in general, three things are 
to be considered: (1.) Its principle. (2.) Its operation. 
(3.) Its virtue; or habit, act, and power. 

(1 .) There was a quickening principle belonging unto it. For 
every life is an act of a quickening principle. This in Adam 
was the image of God ; or an habitual conformity unto God, 


his mind and will; wherein the holiness and righteousness 
of God himself was represented; Gen. i. 26,27. In this 
image he was created, or it was concreated with him, as a 
perfection due to his nature, in the condition wherein he was 
made. This gave him an habitual disposition unto all duties 
of that obedience that was required of him. It was the rec- 
titude of all the faculties of his soul, with respect unto his 
supernatural end ; Eccles. vii. 20. 

(2.) There belonged unto it continual actings, from, or by 
virtue of, and suitable unto, this principle. All the acts of 
Adam's life should have been subordinate unto his great 
moral end. In all that he did, he should have lived unto 
God, according unto the law of that covenant wherein he 
walked before him. And an acting in all things, suitable 
unto the light in his mind, unto the righteousness and holi- 
ness in his will and affection, that uprightness or integrity, 
or order that was in his soul, was his living unto God. 

(3.) He had herewithal, power or ability to continue the 
principle of life in suitable acts of it, with respect unto the 
whole obedience required of him ; that is, he had a sufficiency 
of ability for the performance of any duty, or of all, that the 
covenant required. And in these three did the supernatural 
life of Adam in innocency consist. And it is that which the 
life whereunto we are restored by Christ doth answer. It 
answers unto it, I say, and supplies its absence with respect 
unto the end of living unto God, according unto the new 
covenant that we are taken into. For neither would the life 
of Adam be sufficient for us, to live unto God according to 
the terms of the new covenant ; nor is the life of grace we 
now enjoy, suited to the covenant wherein Adam stood be- 
fore God. Wherefore some differences there are between 
them, the principal whereof may be reduced into two heads. 
1. The principle of this life was wholly and entirely in man 
himself. It was the effect of another cause, of that which 
was without him, namely, the good will and power of God ; 
but it was left to grow on no other root but what was in man 
himself. It was wholly implanted in his nature, and therein 
did its springs lie. Actual excitations by influence of power 
from God, it should have had. For no principle of opera- 
tion can subsist in an independence of God, nor apply itself 
unto operation without his concurrence. But in the life where- 


unto we are renewed by Jesus Christ, the fountain and prin- 
ciple of it is not in ourselves but in him, as one common 
head unto all that are made partakers of him. ' He is our 
life ;' Col. i. 3. and our life (as to the spring and fountain 
of it) is hid with him in God. For he quickeneth us by his 
Spirit; Rom. viii. 10. And our spiritual life, as in us, con- 
sists in the vital actings of this Spirit of his in us; for, ' with- 
out him we can do nothing ;' John xv. 3. By virtue hereof 
we 'walk in newness of life ;' Rom. vi. 4. We live therefore 
hereby, yet not ' so much we, as Christ liveth in us ;' Gal. 
ii. 20. 

2. There is a difference between these lives with respect 
unto the object of their vital acts. For the life which we now 
lead by the faith of the Son of God hath sundry objects of 
its actings, which the other had not. For whereas all the 
actings of our faith and love, that is, all our obedience, doth 
respect the revelation that God makes of himself and his 
will unto us ; there are now new revelations of God in Christ, 
and consequently new duties of obedience required of us, as 
will afterward appear. And other such differences there are 
between them. The life which we had in Adam and that 
which we are renewed unto in Christ Jesus, are so far of the 
same nature and kind, as our apostle manifests in sundry 
places ; Eph. iv. 23, 24. Col. iii. 10. as that they serve to 
the same end and purpose. 

There being, therefore, this two-fold spiritual life, or ability 
of living unto God, that which we had in Adam, and that 
which we have in Christ, we must inquire with reference unto 
which of these it is, that unregenerate men are said to be spi- 
ritually dead, or dead in trespasses and sins. Now this, in the 
first place, hath respect unto the life we had in Adam : for 
the deprivation of that life, was in the sanction of the law, 
* Thou shalt die the death.' This spiritual death is comprised 
therein, and that in the privation of that spiritual life, or life 
unto God, which unregenerate men, never had, neither de 
facto, nor de jure, in any state or condition. Wherefore 
with respect hereunto they are dead only negatively ; they 
have it not ; but with respect unto the life we had in Adam, 
they are dead privatively, they have lost that power of liv- 
ing unto God which they had. 

From what hath been discoursed, we may discover the 


nature of this spiritual death, under the power whereof all 
unregenerate persons do abide. For there are three things 
in it. 1. A privation of a principle of spiritual life enabling 
us to live unto God. 2. A negation of all spiritual vital acts ; 
that is, of all acts and duties of holy obedience acceptable 
unto God, and tending to the enjoyment of him. 3. A total 
defect and want of power for any such acts whatever. All 
these are in that death which is a privation of life, such as 
this is. 

First, There is in it a privation of a principle of spiritual 
life, namely, of that which we had before the entrance of sin, 
or a power of living unto God according to the covenant of 
works ; and a negation of that which we have by Christ, or 
a power of living unto God according to the tenor of the co- 
venant of grace. Those therefore who are thus dead have no 
principle or first power of living unto God, or the perform- 
ance of any duty to be accepted with him, in order to the 
enjoyment of him, according to either covenant. It is with 
them as to all the acts and ends of life spiritual, as it is with 
the body as to the acts and ends of life natural, when the 
soul is departed from it. Why else are they said to be dead ? 

It is objected that there is a wide difference between 
death natural, and spiritual. In death natural the soul itself 
is utterly removed and taken from the body : but in death 
spiritual it continues. A man is still, notwithstanding this 
spiritual death, endowed with an understanding, will, and 
affections. And by these are men enabled to perform their 
duty unto God ; and yield the obedience required of them. 

Am. 1. In life spiritual, the soul is unto the principle 
of it, as the body is unto the soul in life natural. For in life 
natural the soul is the quickening principle, and the body 
is the principle quickened. When the soul departs it leaves 
the body with all its own natural properties, but utterly de- 
prived of them which it had by virtue of its union with the 
soul. So in life spiritual, the soul is not in and by its essen- 
tial properties the quickening principle of it, but it is the 
principle that is quickened. And when the quickening 
principle of spiritual life departs, it leaves the soul with all 
its natural properties entire as to their essence, though 
morally corrupted. But of all the power and abilities, which 
it had by virtue of its union with a quickening principle of 


spiritual life, it is deprived. And to deny such a quickening 
principle of spiritual life superadded unto us by the grace 
of Christ, distinct and separate from the natural faculties of 
the soul, is upon the matter to renounce the whole gospel. 
It is all one, as to deny that Adam was created in the image 
of God, which he lost, and that we are renewed unto the 
image of God by Jesus Christ. Hence, 2. Whatever the soul 
acts in spiritual things, by its understanding, will, and affec- 
tions, as deprived of, or not quickened by, this principle of 
spiritual life, it doth it naturally not spiritually, as shall be 
instantly made to appear. 

There is, therefore, in the first place, a disability or impo- 
tency unto all spiritual things to be performed in a spiritual 
manner, in all persons not born again by the Spirit, because 
they are spiritually dead. Whatever they can do, or how- 
ever men may call what they do, unless they are endowed 
with a quickening principle of grace, they can perform no 
act spiritually vital, no act of life, whereby we live to God ; 
or that is absolutely accepted with him. Hence it is said, 
the ' carnal mind is enmity against God, it is not subject to 
the law of God, neither indeed can it be ;' Rom. viii. 7. so 
then, ' they that are in the flesh cannot please God ;' ver. 8. 
Men may cavil whilst they please about this carnal mind, 
and contend that it is only the sensitive part of the soul, or 
the affections as corrupted by prejudices and depraved habits 
of vice. Two things are plain in the text. First, That this 
carnal mind, is in all mankind whoever they be, who are not 
partakers of the Spirit of God, and his quickening power. 
Secondly, That where it is, there is a disability of doing any 
thing that should please God ; which is the sum of what we 
contend for, and which men may with as little a disparage- 
ment of their modesty deny, as reject the authority of the 
apostle. So our Saviour, as to one instance, tells us, that no 
man can come unto him unless the Father draw him ; John 
vi. 44. And so is it figuratively expressed where all men 
being by nature compared unto evil trees, it is affirmed of 
them, that they cannot bring forth good fruit unless their 
nature be changed ; Matt. vii. 18. xii. 33. And this disability 
as to good is also compared by the prophet unto such effects, 
as lie under a natural impossibility of accomplishment ; Jer. 
xiii. 24. We contend not about expressions. This is that 


which the Scripture abundantly instructeth us in. There is 
no power in men by nature whereby they are of themselves, 
upon the mere proposal of their duty in spiritual obedience, 
and exhortations from the word of God unto the perform- 
ance of it, accompanied with all the motives which are meet 
and suited to prevail with them thereunto, to perceive, know, 
will, or do any thing in such a way or manner, as that it 
should be accepted with God, with respect unto our spiritual 
life unto him according to his will, and future enjoyment of 
him, without the efficacious infusion into them, or creation 
in them, of a new gracious principle or habit enabling them 
thereunto ; and that this is accordingly wrought in all that 
believe by the Holy Ghost, we shall afterward declare. 

But it will be objected, and hath against this doctrine 
been ever so, since the days of Pelagius, that a supposi- 
tion hereof renders all exhortations, commands, promises, and 
threatenings, which comprise the whole way of the external 
communication of the will of God unto us, vain and useless. 
For to what purpose is it to exhort blind men to see, or dead 
men to live, or to promise rewards unto them upon their so 
doing ? Should men thus deal with stones, would it not be 
vain and ludicrous, and that because of their impotency to 
comply with any such proposals of our mind unto them. 
And the same is here supposed in men, as to any ability in 
spiritual things. 

Ans. 1. There is nothing in the highest wisdom re- 
quired in the application of any means to the producing of 
an effect, but that in their own nature they are suited there- 
unto ; and that the subject to be wrought upon by them, is 
capable of being affected, according as their nature requires 3 . 
And thus exhortations, with promises and threatenings, are 

a Magnum aliquid Pelagiani se scire putant quando dicunt, non juberet Deus 
quod scit non posse ab homine fieri, quis hoc nesciat? sed ideo jubet aliqua quse 
non possumus ut noverimus quid ab illo petere debeamus. Ipsa enim est fides quse 
orando impetrat, quod lex imperat. August, de Grat. et lib. Arbit. cap. 16. 

O homo cognosce in prreceptione quid debeas habere; in coruptione cognosce 
tuo te vitio non habere ; in oratione cognosce unde accipias quod vis habere. Idem, 
de Corrupt, et Grat. cap. 3. 

Mandando impossibilia non prevaricatores Deus homines fecit sed humiles, ut 
omne os obturetur et reus fiat totus mundus Deo ; accipientes igitnr mandatum, et 
sentientes defectum clamabinus ad caelum. Bernard. Serm. 50. in Cant. 

Quamvis dicamus Dei donum esse obedientiam, tamen homines exhortamur ad 
earn: sed illis qui veritatis cxhortationem obedienter audiunt, ipsum domam dei da- 
tum est, hoc est, obedientur audire; illi autem qui non sic audit non est datum. 
August, de Dono Persevcrant. cap. 14. 


in their kind, as moral instruments, suited and proper to pro- 
duce the effects of faith and obedience in the minds of men. 
And the faculties of their souls, their understandings, wills, 
and , affections, are meet to be wrought upon by them unto 
that end. For by men's rational abilities they are able to 
discern their nature, and judge of their tendency. And 
because these faculties are the principle and subject of all 
actual obedience, it is granted that there is in man a natu- 
ral, remote, passive power to yield obedience unto God, which 
yet can never actually put forth itself without the effectual 
working of the grace of God, not only enabling, but work- 
ing in them to will and to do. 

2. Exhortations, promises, and threatenings, respect not 
primarily our present ability, but our duty. Their end is, to 
declare unto us, not what we can do, but what we ought to 
do. And this is done fully in them. On the other hand, 
make a general rule, that what God commands, or exhorts 
us unto, with promises made unto our obedience, and threat- 
enings annexed unto a supposition of disobedience, that we 
have power in and of ourselves to do, or that we are of our- 
selves able to do ; and ypu quite evacuate the grace of God, 
or at least make it only useful for the more easy discharge 
of our duty, not necessary unto the very being of duty it- 
self, which is the Pelagianism anathematized by so many 
councils of old. But in the church it hath hitherto been 
believed, that the command directs our duty, but the pro- 
mise gives strength for the performance of it. 

3. God is pleased to make these exhortations and pro- 
mises to be vehicula gratia, the means of communicating- 
spiritual life and strength unto men. And he hath appointed 
them unto this end, because, considering the moral and in- 
tellectual faculties of the minds of men, they are suited 
thereunto. Hence these effects are ascribed unto the word, 
which really are wrought by the grace communicated there- 
by; James i. 18. 1 Pet. i. 23. And this, in their dispensa- 
tion under the covenant of grace, is their proper end. God 
may therefore wisely make use of them, and command them 
to be used towards men, notwithstanding all their own dis- 
ability savingly to comply with them, seeing he can, will, 
and doth himself make them effectual unto the end aimed at. 
But it will be farther objected, ' That if men are thus 


utterly devoid of a principle of spiritual life, of all power to 
live unto God ; that is, to repent, believe, and yield obe- 
dience ; is it righteous that they should perish eternally, 
merely for their disability, or their not doing that which 
they are not able to do V This would be to require brick 
and to give no straw ; yea, to require much where nothing 
is given. But the Scripture every where chargeth the de- 
struction of men upon their wilful sin, not their weakness 
or disability. 

Am. 1. Men's disability to live to God is their sin. 
Whatever, therefore, ensues thereon, may be justly charged 
on them. It is that which came on us by the sin of our na- 
ture in our first parents ; all whose consequents are our sin 
and our misery ; Rom. v. 12. Had it befallen us without a 
guilt truly our own, according to the law of our creation and 
covenant of our obedience, the case would have been other- 
wise. But on this supposition (sufficiently confirmed else- 
where), those who perish, do but feed on the fruit of their 
own ways. 

2. In the transactions between God and the souls of 
men, with respect unto their obedience and salvation, there 
is none of them but hath a power in sundry things, as to 
some degrees and measures of them, to comply with his 
mind and will, which they voluntarily neglect. And this of 
itself is sufficient to bear the charge of their eternal ruin. 

3. No man is so unable to live unto God, to do any thing 
for him, but that withal he is able to do any thing against 
him. There is in all men, by nature, a depraved vicious 
habit of mind, wherein they are alienated from the life of 
God. And there is no command given unto men for evan- 
gelical faith or obedience, but they can, and do put forth a 
free positive act of their wills in the rejection of it, either di- 
rectly or interpretatively, in preferring somewhat else before 
it. As they cannot come to Christ unless the Father draw 
them, so they will not come that they may have life ; where- 
fore their destruction is just and of themselves. 

This is the description which the Scripture givcth us, 
concerning the power, ability, or disability, of men in the 
state of nature as unto the performance of spiritual things. 
By some it is traduced as fanatical and senseless, which the 

VOL. II. z ** 



Lord Christ must answer for, not we. For we do nothing 
but plainly represent what he hath expressed in his word, 
and if it be foolishness unto any, the day will determine 
where the blame must lie. 

Secondly, There is in this death an actual cessation of all 
vital acts. From this defect of power, or the want of a prin- 
ciple of spiritual life, it is, that men in the state of nature 
can perform no vital act of spiritual obedience ; nothing 
that is spiritually good, or saving, or accepted with God, ac- 
cording to the tenor of the new covenant; which we shall in 
the second place a little explain. 

The whole course of our obedience to God in Christ is 
the ' life of God ;' Eph. iv. 18. That life which is from him 
in a peculiar manner, whereof he is the especial author, and 
whereby we live unto him, which is our end. And the gospel, 
which is the rule of our obedience, is called the ' words of 
this life;' Acts v. 20. That which guides and directs us how 
to live to God. Hence all the duties of this life are vital 
acts, spiritually vital acts, acts of that life whereby we live 
to God. 

Where, therefore, this life is not, all the works of men 
are dead works. Where persons are dead in sin, their works 
are dead works. They are so all of them, either in their own 
nature, or with respect unto them by whom they are per- 
formed ; Heb. ix. 14. They are dead works because they 
proceed not from a principle of life, are unprofitable as dead 
things, Eph. v. 11. and end in death eternal; James i. 15. 

We may then consider how this spiritual life, which 
enableth us unto these vital acts, is derived and communi- 
cated unto us. 1. The original spring and fountain of this 
life is with God ; Psal. xxxvi. 9. ' With thee is the fountain 
of life ;' the sole spring of our spiritual life is in an especial 
way and manner in God. And hence our life is said to be 
'hid with Christ in God ;' Col. iii. 3. that is, as in its eter- 
nal producing and preserving cause. But it is thus also 
with respect unto all life whatever. God is the living God, 
all other things are in themselves but dead things ; their life, 
whatever it be, is in him efficiently and eminently, and in 
them is purely derivative. Wherefore, 

2. Our spiritual life, as unto the especial nature of it, is 
specificated and discerned from a life of any other kind, in 


that the fulness of it is communicated unto the Lord Christ 
as mediator; Col. i. 19. And from his fulness we do receive 
it; John i. 16. There is a principle of spiritual life commu- 
nicated unto us from his fulness thereof, whence he quick - 
eneth whom he pleaseth. Hence he is said to ' be our life ;' 
Col. iii. 4. And in our life, it is not so much we who live, 
as Christ that liveth in us, Gal. ii. 20. because we act no- 
thing but as we are acted by virtue and power from him ; 
1 Cor. xv. 10. 

3. The fou ntain of this life being in God, and the fulness 
of it being laid up in Christ for us, he communicates the 
power and principle of it unto us by the Holy Ghost; Rom« 
viii. 11. That he is the immediate efficient cause hereof, 
we shall afterward fully evince and declare. But yet he 
doth it so, as to derive it unto us from Jesus Christ; Eph. 
iv. 15, 16. For he is the life, and without him, or power 
communicated from him, ' we can do nothing ;' John xv. 5. 

4. This spiritual life is communicated unto us by the 
Holy Ghost, according unto, and in order for, the ends of 
that new covenant. For this is the promise of it, That God 
will first write his law in our hearts, and then we shall walk 
in his statutes ; that is, the principle of life must precede all 
vital acts. From this principle of life, thus derived and con- 
veyed unto us, are all those vital acts whereby we live to 
God. Where this is not, as it is not in any that are dead 
in sin, for from the want hereof are they denominated dead, 
no act of obedience unto God can so be performed, as that 
it should be an act of the life of God ; and this is the way 
whereby the Scripture doth express it. The same thing is 
intended, when we say in other words, that without an in- 
fused habit of internal inherent grace, received from Christ 
by an efficacious work of the Spirit, no man can believe or 
obey God, or perform any duty in a saving manner, so as it 
should be accepted with him. And, if we abide not in this 
principle, we let in the whole poisonous flood of Pelagianism 
into the church. To say that we have a sufficiency in our- 
selves, so much as to think a good thought, to do any thino- 
as we ought, any power, any ability, that is our own, or in 
us by nature, however externally excited and guided by mo- 
tives, directions, reasons, encouragements of what sort so- 
ever, to believe or obey the gospel savingly in any one in- 

z 2 


stance, is to overthrow the gospel and the faith of the ca- 
tholic church in all ages. 

But it may be objected, ' That, whereas, many unrege- 
nerate persons may and do perform many duties of religious 
obedience, if there be nothing of spiritual life in them, then 
are they all sins, and so differ not from the worst things 
they do in this world, which are but sins ; and if so, unto 
what end should they take pains about them? Were it not 
as good for them to indulge unto their lusts and pleasures, 
seeing all comes to one end ? It is all sin, and nothing 
else ; why do the dispensers of the gospel, press any duties 
on such as they know to be in that estate? What advan- 
tage shall they have by a compliance with them? Were it 
not better to leave them to themselves, and wait for their 
conversion, than to spend time and labour about them to no 

Ans. 1. It must be granted, that all the duties of such 
persons, are in some sense sins. It was the saying of Austin b , 
that the virtues of unbelievers are splendida peccata. This 
some are* now displeased with ; but it is easier to censure 
him than to confute him. Two things attend in every duty 
that is properly so. (1.) That it is accepted with God: 
and, (2.) That it is sanctified in them that do it; but nei- 
ther of these are in the duties of unregenerate men. For, 
they have not faith ; and ' without faith, it is impossible to 
please God;' Heb. xi. 6. And the apostle also assures us, 
that unto the denied and unbelieving, that is, all unsanc- 
tified persons not purified by the Spirit of grace, all things 
are unclean, because their consciences and minds are de- 
filed; Tit. i. 15. So their praying is said to be an abomi- 
nation, and their plowing, sin. It doth not therefore ap- 
pear, what is otherwise in them or to them. But as there 
are good duties, which have sin adhering to them, Isa. lxiv. 
6. so there are sins which have good in them. For bonum 
oritur ex integris, malum ex quocwique defectu. Such are the 

b Manifestissime patet in impiorum animis nullam habitare virtutem ; sed omnia 
opera eorum immunda esse atque polluta, habcntium sapientiam non spiritualemsed 
animalem, non cjslestem sed terrenara. Prosper, ad Collat. cap. 28. 

Omne etenim probitatis opus nisi semine verae exoritur ridei, peccatum est, inque 
erratum vertitur, et sterilis cumulatsibi gloria pcenam. Prosper, de lngratis. cap. 16. 

Multa laudibilia atque miranda possunt in honiiue reperiri, quae sine charitatis 
medullis habent quidem pietatis similitudinem, sed non habent veritatem. Idem, 
ad Ruffin. de lib. Arbit. 


duties of men unregenerate. Formally, and unto them, they 
are sin ; materially, and in themselves, they are good. This 
gives them a difference from, and a preference above, such 
sins, as are every way sinful. As they are duties, they are 
good, as they are the duties of such persons, they are evil, 
because necessarily defective in what should preserve them 
from being so. And on this ground, they ought to attend 
unto them, and may be pressed thereunto. 

2. That which is good materially, and in itself, though 
vitiated from the relation which it hath to the person by 
whom it is performed, is approved, and hath its acceptation 
in its proper place. For duties may be performed two ways. 
(1.) In hypocrisy, and pretence, so they are utterly abhorred 
of God in matter and manner; that is such a poisonous in- 
gredient as vitiates the whole; Isa. i. 11 — 14. Hos. i. 4. 
(2.) In integrity, according unto present light and convic- 
tion, which for the substance of them are approved. And 
no man is to be exhorted to do any thing in hypocrisy ; see 
Matt. x. 21. And on this account also, that the duties 
themselves are acceptable, men may be pressed to them. 
But, 3. it must be granted, that the same duty, for the sub- 
stance of it in general, and performed according to the same 
rule as to the outward manner of it, may be accepted in or 
from one, and rejected in or from another. So was it with 
the sacrifices of Cain and Abel. And not only so, but the 
same rejected duty may have degrees of evil, for which it is 
rejected, and be more sinful in and unto one, than unto an- 
other. But we must observe, that the difference doth not 
relate merely unto the different states of the persons by 
whom such are performed ; as, because, one is in the state 
of grace, whose duties are accepted ; and, another, in the 
state of nature, whose duties are rejected, as their persons 
are. For although the acceptation of our persons, be a ne- 
cessary condition for the acceptation of our duties, as God 
first had respect unto Abel, and then unto his offerings ; 
yet, there is always a real specifical difference between the 
duties themselves, whereof one is accepted, and the other re- 
jected, although, it may be unto us, it be every way imper- 
ceptible. As in the offerings of Cain and Abel, that of Abel 
was offered in faith, the defect whereof in the other, caused 
it to be refused. Suppose duties, therefore, to be every 


way the same, as to the principles, rule, and ends, or what- 
ever is necessary to render them good in their kind ; and 
they would be all equally accepted with God, by whomso- 
ever they are performed, for he is no accepter of persons. 
But this cannot be, but where those that perform them are 
partakers of the same grace. It is, therefore, the wills of 
men only, that vitiate their duties, which are required of 
them as good; and, if so, they may justly be required of 
them. The defect, is not immediately in their state, but in 
their wills and their perversity. 

4. The will of God is the rule of all men's obedience. 
This they are all bound to attend unto ; and if what they 
do, through their own defect, prove eventually sin unto them, 
yet the commandment is just and holy, and the observance 
of it justly prescribed unto them. The law is the moral 
cause of the performance of the duties it requires, but not 
of the sinful manner of their performance. And God hath 
not lost his right of commanding men, because they by their 
sin have lost their power to fulfil his command. And if the 
equity of the command doth arise from the proportioning of 
strength that men have to answer it, he that by contracting 
the highest moral disability that depraved habits of mind 
can introduce, or a course of sinning produce in him, is 
freed from owing obedience unto any of God's commands ; 
seeing all confess that such a habit of sin may be con- 
tracted, as will deprive them in whom it is, of all power of 
obedience. Wherefore, 

5. Preachers of the gospel and others have sufficient war- 
rant to press upon all men, the duties of faith, repentance, 
and obedience, although they know that in themselves they 
have not a sufficiency of ability for their due performance. 
For, (1.) it is the will and command of God that so they should 
do, and that is the rule of all our duties. They are not to 
consider what man can do or will do, but what God requires. 
To make a judgment of men's ability, and to accommodate 
the commands of God unto them accordingly, is not com- 
mited unto any of the sons of men. (2.) They have a dou- 
ble end in pressing on men the observance of duties, with a 
supposition of the state of impotency described. [1.] To 
prevent them from such courses of sin, as would harden 
them, and so render their conversion more difficult if not 


desperate. [2.] To exercise a means appointed of God for 
their conversion, or the communication of saving-grace unto 
them. Such are God's commands, and such are the duties 
required in them. In and by them, God doth use to com-, 
municate of his grace unto the souls of men, not with re- 
spect unto them as their duties, but as they are ways ap- 
pointed and sanctified by him unto such ends. And hence 
it follows that even such duties as are vitiated in their per- 
formance, yet are of advantage unto them by whom they are 
performed. For, 1st. by attendance unto them, they are pre- 
served from many sins. 2nd. In an especial manner from the 
great sin of despising God, which ends commonly in that 
which is unpardonable. 3rd. They are hereby made useful 
unto others, and many ends of God's glory in the world. 
4th. They are kept in God's way, wherein they may gra- 
dually be brought over unto a real conversion unto him. 

Thirdly, In this state of spiritual death, there is not in 
them who are under the power of it any disposition, active and 
inclining unto life spiritual. There is not so in a dead car- 
cass unto life natural ; it is a subject meet for an external 
power to introduce a living principle into ; so the dead 
body of Lazarus was quickened and animated again by the 
introduction of his soul. But in itself it had not the least 
active disposition nor inclination thereunto. And no other- 
wise is it with a soul dead in trespasses and sins. There 
is in it potentia obedientialis, a power rendering it meet to 
receive the communications of grace and spiritual life. But 
a disposition thereunto of its own it hath not. There is in it 
a remote power, in the nature of its faculties meet to be 
wrought upon by the Spirit and grace of God. But an im- 
mediate power disposing and enabling it unto spiritual acts 
it hath not. And the reason is, because natural corruption 
cleaves unto it, as an invincible unmoveable habit constantly 
inducing unto evil, wherewith the least disposition unto 
spiritual good is not inconsistent. There is in the soul, in 
the Scripture language (which some call canting), 'the body 
of the sins of the flesh ;' Col. ii. 11. which, unless it be 
taken away by spiritual circumcision through the virtue of 
the death of Christ, it will lie dead in to eternity. There is 
therefore in us that which may be quickened and saved. 
And this is all we have to boast of by nature. Though man 
by sin be made like the beasts that perish, being brutish and 


foolish in his mind and affections ; yet he is not so absolutely, 
he retains that living soul, those intellectual faculties which 
were the subject of original righteousness, and are meet to re- 
ceive again the renovation of the image of Godby Jesus Christ- 

But this also seems obnoxious to an objection from the 
instances that are given in the Scripture, and whereof we have 
experience concerning sundry good duties performed by men 
unregenerate, and that in a tendency unto living unto God, 
which argues a disposition to spiritual good. So Balaam 
desired to die the death of the righteous, and Herod heard 
John Baptist gladly, doing many things willingly. And 
ofreat endeavours after conversion unto God, we find in 
many who never attain thereunto. So that to say there is 
no disposition unto spiritual life in any unregenerate person, 
is to make them all equal, which is contrary to experience. 

Ans. 1 . There is no doubt but that unregenerate men may 
perform many external duties, which are good in themselves, 
and lie in the order of the outward disposal of the means of con- 
version. Nor is it questioned but they may have real designs, 
desires, and endeavours, after that which is presented unto 
them as their chiefest good. But so far as these desires or act- 
ings are merely natural, there is no disposition in them unto 
spiritual life, or that which is spiritually good : so far as 
they are supernatural, they are not of themselves. For, 

2. Although there are no preparatory inclinations in men, 
yet there are preparatory works upon them. Those who have 
not the word, yet may have convictions of good and evil, 
from the authority of God in their consciences ; Rom. ii. 
14, 15. And the law, in the dispensation of it, may work 
men unto many duties of obedience ; much more may the 
gospel so do. But whatever effects are hereby produced, 
they are wrought by the power of God exerted in the dis- 
pensation of the word. They are not educed out of the natu- 
ral faculties of the minds of men, but are effects of the power 
of God in them and upon them. For we know that ' in the 
flesh there dwelleth no good thing;' and all unregenerate 
men are no more; for that which is ' born of the flesh is flesh.' 

3. The actings thus effected and produced in men unre- 
generate, are neither/n/eVs of, nor dispositions unto, spiritual 
life. Men that are spiritually dead, may have designs and 
desires to free themselves from dying eternally ; but such a 
desire to be saved, is no saving disposition unto life. 





Description of the state of nature, necessary unto a right understanding of 
the work of the Spirit in regeneration. No possibility of salvation unto 
persons living and dying in a state of sin. Deliverance from it by rege- 
neration only. The Holy Ghost the peculiar author of this ivorh. Dif- 
ferences about the manner and nature of it. Way of the ancients in 
explaining the doctrine of grace ; the present method proposed. Con- 
version not wrought by moral suasion only. The nature and efficacy of 
moral suasion, wherein they consist. Illumination preparatory unto con- 
version. The nature of grace morally effective only, opened; not suffi- 
cient for conversion. The first argument disproving the working of grace 
in conversion to be by moral suasion only. The second. The third. The 
fourth. Wherein the work of the Spirit in regeneration positively doth 
consist ; the use and end of outward means. Real internal efficiency of 
the Spirit in this ivork. Grace victorious and irresistible, the nature of it 
explained. Proved. The manner of God's working by grace on our 
wills farther explained. Testimonies concerning the actual collation of 
faith by the power of God. Victorious efficacy of internal grace proved 
by sundry testimonies of Scripture. From the nature of the work wrought 
by it, in vivification and regeneration. Regeneration considered with re- 
spect unto the distinct faculties of the soul. The mind. The will. The 

Unto the description we are to give of the work of regene- 
ration, the precedent account of the subject of it, or the state 
and condition of them that are to be regenerated, was ne- 
cessarily to be premised. For upon the knowledge thereof, 
doth a due apprehension of the nature of that work depend. 
And the occasion of all the mistakes and errors that have 
been about it, either of old or of late, hath been a misun- 
derstanding of the true state of men in their lapsed condition, 
or of nature as depraved. Yea, and those by whom this 
whole work is derided, do now countenance themselves 
therein by their ignorance of that state, which they will not 


learn either from the Scripture or experience ; for, natura sic 
apparet vitiata ut hoc majoris vitii sit non videre, as Austin 
speaks. It is an evidence of the corruption of nature, that 
it disenables the minds of men to discern their own corrup- 
tion. We have previously discharged this work so far as it 
is necessary unto our present purpose. Many other things 
might be added in the explication of it, were that our direct 
design. Particularly having confined myself to treat only 
concerning the depravation of the mind and will, I have not 
insisted on that of the affections, which yet is effectual to 
retain unregenerate men under the power of sin ; though it 
be far enough from truth that the whole corruption of na- 
ture consists therein, as some weakly and athologically have 
imagined. Much less have I treated concerning that in- 
crease and heightening of the depravation of nature which 
is attracted by a custom of sinning, as unto all the perverse 
ends of it. Yet this also the Scripture much insists upon, 
as that which naturally and necessarily ensues in all in whom 
it is not prevented by the effectual transforming grace of 
the Spirit of God. And it is that which seals up the impos- 
sibility of their turning themselves to God ; Jer. xiii. 23. 
Rom. iii. 10 — 19. But that the whole difficulty of conver- 
sion should arise from men's contracting a habit or custom 
of sinning, is false, and openly contradictory to the Scrip- 
ture. These things are personal evils, and befal individuals 
through their own default in various degrees. And we see 
that amongst men, under the same use of means, some are 
converted unto God, who have been deeply immersed in an 
habitual course of open sins, whilst others, kept from them 
by the influence of their education upon their inclinations 
and affections, remain unconverted. So was it of old be- 
tween the publicans and harlots on the one hand, and the 
Pharisees on the other. But my design was only to men- 
tion that which is common unto all ; or wherein all men 
universally are equally concerned, who are partakers of the 
same human nature in its lapsed condition. And what we 
have herein declared from the Scriptures will guide us in 
our inquiry after the work of the Holy Spirit of grace in our 
deliverance from it. 

It is evident, and needs no farther confirmation, that per- 
sons living and dying in this estate cannot be saved. This 


hitherto hath been allowed by all that are called Christians, 
nor are we to be moved that some who call themselves so, 
do begin to laugh at the disease, and despise the remedy, of 
our nature. Among those who lay any serious and real claim 
unto Christianity, there is nothing more certain, nor more 
acknowledged, than that there is no deliverance from a state 
of misery for those who are not delivered from a state of sin. 
And he who denies the necessary perishing of all that live 
and die in the state of corrupted nature, denies all the use of 
the incarnation and mediation of the Son of God. For if 
we may be saved without the renovation of our natures, there 
was no need, nor use, of the new creation of all things by 
Jesus Christ, which principally consists therein. And if men 
may be saved under all the evils that came upon us by the 
fall, then did Christ die in vain. Besides, it is frequently 
expressed that men in that state are enemies to God, alie- 
nated from him, children of wrath, under the curse ; and if 
such may be saved, so may devils also. In brief, it is not 
consistent with the nature of God, his holiness, righteous- 
ness, or truth, with the law or gospel, nor possible in the na- 
ture of the thing itself, that such persons should enter into, 
or be made possessors of, glory and rest with God. A de- 
liverance therefore out of, and from, this condition is indis- 
pensably necessary to make us meet for the inheritance of the 
saints in light. 

This deliverance must be, and is, by regeneration. The 
determination of our Saviour is positive both in this and the 
necessity of it before asserted ; John iii . 3. ' Except a man be 
born again,' or from above, ' he cannot see the kingdom of 
God.' Whatever sense the ' kingdom of God' is taken in, 
either for that of grace here, or of glory hereafter, it is all the 
same as unto our present purpose. There is no interest in 
it to be obtained, no participation of the benefits of it, unless 
a man be born again, unless he be regenerate. And this de- 
termination of our Saviour, as it is absolute and decretory, 
so it is applicable unto, and equally compriseth, every indi- 
vidual of mankind. And the work intended by their rege- 
neration, or in being born again, which is the spiritual con- 
version and quickening of the souls of men, is every where 
ascribed unto them that shall be saved. And although men 
may have, through their ignorance and prejudices, false ap- 


prehensions about regeneration and the nature of it, or where- 
in it doth consist ; yet so far as I know, all Christians are 
agreed, that it is the way and means of our deliverance from 
the state of sin or corrupted nature, or rather our deliverance 
itself. For this both express testimonies of Scripture, and 
the nature of the thing itself, put beyond contradiction ; Tit. 
iii. 3 — 5. And those by whom it is exposed unto scorn, who 
esteem it a ridiculous thing for any one to inquire whether 
he be regenerate or no, will one day understand the neces- 
sity of it ; although it may be not before it is too late to 
obtain any advantage thereby. 

The Holy Ghost is the immediate author and cause of this 
work of regeneration. And herein again, as I suppose, we 
have in general the consent of all. Nothing is more in words 
acknowledged than that all the ' elect of God are sanctified 
by the Holy Ghost.' And this regeneration is the head, foun- 
tain, or beginning, of our sanctification, virtually comprising 
the whole in itself, as will afterward appear. However that 
it is a part thereof, is not to be denied. Besides, as I sup- 
pose, it is equally confessed to be an effect or work of grace, 
the actual dispensation whereof is solely in the hand of the 
Holy Spirit. This, 1 say, is in words acknowledged by all ; 
although I know not how some can reconcile this profession 
unto other notions and sentiments which they declare con- 
cerning it : for setting aside what men do herein themselves, 
and others do towards them in the ministry of the word, and 
I cannot see what remains, as they express their loose imagi- 
nations, to be ascribed unto the Spirit of God. But at pre- 
sent we shall make use of this general concession, that rege- 
neration is the work of the Holy Ghost, or an effect of his 
grace. Not that we have any need so to do, but that we 
may avoid contesting about those things wherein men may 
shroud their false opinions under general ambiguous expres- 
sions, which was the constant practice of Pelagius and those 
who followed him of old. But the Scripture is express in 
testimonies to our purpose. What our Saviour calls ' being 
born again,' John iii. 3. he calls being ' being born of the 
Spirit;' ver. 5, 6. because he is the sole, principal, efficient 
cause of this new birth. For it is the ' Spirit that quicken- 
eth;' John. vi. 63. Rom. viii. 11. And God saveth us, ' ac- 
cording to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration, and the 


renewing of the Holy Ghost;' Tit.iii. 5. whereas, therefore, we 
are said to be 'born of God,' or to be 'begotten again of his 
own will ;' Johni. 13. James i. 18. 1 John iii. 9. it is with re- 
spect unto the especial and peculiar operation of the Holy 

These things are thus far confessed, even by the Pela- 
gians themselves, both those of old, and those at present, at 
least in general; nor hath any as yet been so hardy as to 
deny regeneration to be the work of the Holy Spirit in us ; 
unless we must except those deluded souls who deny both 
him and his work. Our sole inquiry, therefore, must be after 
the manner and nature of this work ; for the nature of it de- 
pends on the manner of the working of the Spirit of God 
herein. This I acknowledge was variously contended about 
of old ; and the truth concerning it, hath scarce escaped an 
open opposition in any age of the church. And at present 
this is the great ball of contention between the Jesuits and 
the Jansenists, the latter keeping close to the doctrine of the 
principal ancient writers of the church, the former under 
new notions, expressions, and distinctions, endeavouring 
the reinforcement of Pelagianism, whereunto some of the 
elder school-men led the way, of whom our Bradwardine so 
long ago complained. But never was it with so much im- 
potence and ignorance traduced and reviled, as it is by some 
among ourselves. For a sort of men we have, who by stories 
of wandering Jew T s, rhetorical declamations, pert cavillings, 
and proud revilings of those who dissent from them, think 
to scorn and banish truth out of the world ; though they 
never yet durst attempt to deal openly and plainly with any 
one argument that is pleaded in its defence and confirmation. 
The ancient writers of the church, who looked into these 
things with most diligence, and laboured in them with most 
success, as Austin, Hilary, Prosper, and Fulgentius, do re- 
present the whole work of the Spirit of God towards the souls 
of men under certain heads or distinctions of grace. And 
herein were they followed by many of the more sober school- 
men; and others of late without number. Frequent mention 
we find in them of grace, as preparing, preventing, working, 
co-working, and confirming. Under these heads do they 
handle the whole work of our regeneration or conversion 
unto God. And although there may be some alteration in 


method and ways of expression, which may be varied as they 
are found to be of advantage unto them that are to be in- 
structed ; yet for the substance of the doctrine, they taught 
the same which hath been preached amongst us since the re- 
formation, which some have ignorantly traduced as novel. 
And the whole of it is nobly and elegantly exemplified by 
Austin in his confessions, wherein he gives us the experience 
of the truth he had taught in his own soul. And I might 
follow their footsteps herein, and perhaps should for some 
reasons have chosen so to have done; but that there have 
been so many differences raised about the explication and 
application of these terms and distinctions; and the decla- 
ration of the nature of the acts and effects of the Spirit of 
grace intended in them ; as that to carry the truth through 
the intricate perplexities which under these notions have 
been cast upon it, would be a longer work than I shall here 
engage into ; and too much divert me from my principal in- 
tention. I shall, therefore, in general, refer the whole work 
of the Spirit of God with respect unto the regeneration of 
sinners unto two heads. First, That which is preparatory for 
it; and, secondly, That which is effective of it. That which 
is preparatory for it, is the conviction of sin; this is the work 
of the Holy Spirit ; John xvi. 8, 9. And this also may be 
distinctly referred unto three heads. 1. A discovery of the 
true nature of sin, by the ministry of the law; Rom. vii. 7. 
2. An application of that discovery made in the mind or un- 
derstanding unto the conscience of the sinner. 3. The ex- 
citation of affections suitable unto that discovery and appli- 
cation ; Acts ii. 37. But these things, so far as they belong 
unto our present design, have been before insisted on. Our 
principal inquiry at present is after the work itself, or the 
nature and manner of the working of the Spirit of God in and 
on the souls of men in their regeneration. And this must be 
both negatively and positively declared. 

First, The work of the Spirit of God in the regeneration of 
sinners, or the quickening of them who are dead in trespasses 
and sins, or in their first saving conversion to God, doth not 
consist in a moral suasion only. By suasion we intend such a 
persuasion as may, or may not, be effectual; so absolutely we 
call that only persuasion whereby a man is actually persuaded. 
Concerning this we must consider, 1 . What it is that is in- 


tended by that expression, and wherein its efficacy doth con- 
sist; and, 2. prove that the whole work of the Spirit of God 
in the conversion of sinners doth not consist therein. And 
I shall handle this matter under this notion, as that which 
is known unto those who are conversant in these things from 
the writings of the ancient and modern divines. For it is to 
no purpose to endeavour the reducing of the extravagant 
confused discourses of some present writers unto a certain 
and determinate stating of the things in difference among 
us. That which they seem to aim at and conclude, may be 
reduced unto these heads : (1.) That God administers grace 
unto all in the declaration of the doctrine of the law and 
gospel. (2.) That the reception of this doctrine, the belief 
and practice of it, is enforced by promises and threatenings. 
(3.) That the things revealed, taught, and commanded, are 
not only good in themselves, but so suited unto the reason 
and interest of mankind, as that the mind cannot but be dis- 
posed and inclined to receive and obey them, unless over- 
powered by prejudices and a course of sin. (4.) That the 
consideration of the promises and threatenings of the gos- 
pel, is sufficient to remove these prejudices and reform that 
course. (5.) That upon a compliance with the doctrine of 
the gospel and obedience thereunto, men are made partakers 
of the Spirit, with other privileges of the New Testament, 
and have a right unto all the promises of the present and fu- 
ture life. Now this being a perfect system of Pelagianism, 
condemned in the ancient church as absolutely exclusive of 
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, will be fully removed 
out of our way in our present discourse, though the loose 
confused expressions of some be not considered in particu- 
lar. For if the work of our regeneration doth not consist in 
a moral suasion, which as we shall see contains all that 
these men will allow to grace, their whole fabric falls to the 
ground of its own accord. 

1 . As to the nature of this moral suasion two things may 
be considered. (1.) The means, instrument, and matter of it, 
and this is the word of God ; the word of God or the Scrip- 
ture in the doctrinal instructions, precepts, promises, and 
threatenings of it. This is that, and this is that alone, where- 
by we are commanded, pressed, persuaded, to turn ourselves 
and live to God. And herein we comprise the whole, both 


the law and the gospel, with all the divine truths contained 
in them, as severally respecting the especial ends whereunto 
they are designed. For although they are distinctly and 
peculiarly suited to produce distinct effects on the minds of 
men, yet they all jointly tend unto the general end of guiding 
men how to live unto God, and to obtain the enjoyment of 
him. As for those documents and instructions which men 
have concerning the will of God, and the obedience which he 
requires of them from the light of nature, with the works of 
creation and providence, I shall not here take them into con- 
sideration. For either they are solitary or without any super- 
addition of instructive light by revelation, and then I utterly 
deny them to be a sufficient outward means of the conversion 
of any one soul ; or they may be considered as improved by 
the written word as dispensed unto men, and so they are 
comprised under it, and need not to be considered apart. We 
will therefore suppose that those unto whom the word is de- 
clared, have antecedaneously thereunto, all the help which 
the light of nature will afford. 

(2.) The principal way of the application of this means to 
produce its effect on the souls of men, is the ministry of the 
church. God hath appointed the ministry for the application 
of the word unto the minds and consciences of men for their 
instruction and conversion. And concerning this we may 
observe two things. [1.] That the word of God, thus dis- 
pensed by the ministry of the church, is the only ordinary 
outward means which the Holy Ghost maketh use of in the 
regeneration of the adult unto whom it is preached. [2.] That 
it is every way sufficient in its own kind ; that is, as an out- 
ward means. For the revelation which is made of God and 
his mind thereby, is sufficient to teach men all that is need- 
ful for them to believe and do, that they may be converted 
unto God, and yield him the obedience that he requires. 
Hence two things do ensue : 

1st. That the use of those means unto men in the state of 
sin, if they are not complied withal, is sufficient, on the 
grounds before laid down, to leave them by whom they are 
rejected inexcusable ; so Isa. v. 3 — 5. Prov. xxix. 1. 2 Chron. 
xxxvi. 14, 15. 

2nd. That the effect of regeneration or conversion unto 
God, is assigned unto the preaching of the word, because of 


its efficacy thereunto in its own kind and way as the outward 
means thereof; 1 Cor. iv. 15. James i. 14. 1 Pet. i. 23. 

Secondly, We may consider what is the nature, and 
wherein the efficacy of this moral work doth consist. To 
which purpose we may observe ; 

1. That in the use of this means for the conversion of men, 
there is, preparatory unto that wherein this moral persuasion 
doth consist, an instruction of the mind in the knowledge of 
the will of God and its duty towards him. The first regard 
unto men in the dispensation of the word unto them, is their 
darkness and ignorance, whereby they are alienated from the 
life of God. This therefore is the first end of divine revela- 
tion ; namely, to make known the counsel and will of God 
unto us ; see Matt. iv. 15, 16. Luke iv. 18, 19. Acts xxvi. 17, 
18. xx. 20,21. 26, 27. By the preaching of the law and 
the gospel, men are instructed in the whole counsel of God, 
and what he requires of them. And in their apprehension 
hereof doth the illumination of their minds consist, whereof 
we must treat distinctly afterward. Without a supposition 
of this illumination there is no use of the persuasive power 
of the word ; for it consists in affecting the mind with its 
concernment in the things that it knows, or wherein it is in- 
structed. Wherefore we suppose in this case, that a man is 
taught by the word, both the necessity of regeneration, and 
what is required of himself thereunto. 

2. On this supposition, that a man is instructed in the 
knoivledge of the will of God, as revealed in the law and the 
gospel ; there is, accompanying the word of God in the dis- 
pensation of it, & powerful persuasive efficacy unto a compliance 
with it, and observance of it. For instance ; suppose a man 
to be convinced by the word of God of the nature of sin ; of 
his own sinful condition ; of his danger from thence with 
respect unto the sin of nature, on which account he is a child 
of wrath, and of his actual sin, which farther renders him 
obnoxious unto the curse of the law, and the indignation of 
God ; of his duty hereon to turn unto God, and the way 
whereby he may so do ; there are in the precepts, exhorta- 
tions, expostulations, promises, and threatenings of the word, 
especially as dispensed in the ministry of the church, power- 
ful motives to affect, and arguments to prevail with, the mind 
and will of such a man, to endeavour his own regeneration 

VOL. II. 2 A 


or conversion unto God, rational and cogent above all that 
can be objected unto the contrary. On some it is acknow- 
ledged that these things have no effect; they are not moved 
by them, they care not for them, they do despise them, and 
live and die in rebellion against the light ^of them, ' having 
their eyes blinded by the god of this world.' But this is no 
argument that they are not powerful in themselves ; although 
indeed it is that they are not so towards us of themselves, 
but only as the Holy Spirit is pleased to act them towards 
us. But in these motives, reasons, and arguments, whereby 
men are, in and from the word, and the ministry of it, urged 
and pressed unto conversion to God, doth this moral per- 
suasion whereof we speak consist. And the efficacy of it, 
unto the end proposed, ariseth from the things ensuing, 
which are all resolved into God himself. 

(1.) From an evidence of the truth of the things from 
whence these motives and arguments were taken. The foun- 
dation of all the efficacy of the dispensation of the gospel 
lies in an evidence, that the things proposed in it are not 
' cunningly devised fables ;' 2 Pet. i. 16. Where this is not 
admitted, where it is not firmly assented unto, there can 
be no persuasive efficacy in it. But where there is, namely, 
a prevalent persuasion of the truth of the things proposed, 
there the mind is under a disposition unto the things where- 
unto it is persuaded. And hereon the whole efficacy of the 
word in and upon the souls of men, is resolved into the truth 
and veracity of God. For the things contained in the Scrip- 
ture are not proposed unto us merely as true, but as divine 
truths, as immediate revelations from God, which require 
not only a rational, but a sacred religious respect unto them. 
They -are things that the 'mouth of the Lord hath spoken.' 

(2.) There is a proposal unto the wills and affections of men 
in the things so assented unto, on the one hand as good, 
amiable, and excellent, wherein the chiefest good, happi- 
ness, and utmost end of our natures are comprised, to be 
pursued and attained ; and on the other, of things evil and 
terrible, the utmost evil that our nature is obnoxious unto, 
to be avoided. For this is urged on them, that to comply 
with the will of God in the proposals of the gospel, to con- 
form thereunto, to do what he requires, to turn from sin unto 
him, is good unto men, best for them, assuredly attended 


with present satisfaction and future glory. And therein is 
also proposed the most noble object for our affections, even 
God himself as a friend, as reconciled unto us in Christ, and 
that in away suited unto his holiness, righteousness, wisdom, 
and goodness, which we have nothing to oppose unto, nor to 
lay in the balance against. The way also of the reconciliation 
of sinners unto God by Jesus Christ is set out, as that which 
hath such an impress of divine wisdom and goodness upon 
it, as that it can be refused by none, but out of a direct enmity 
against God himself. Unto the enforcing of these things on 
the minds of men, the Scripture abounds with reasons, mo- 
tives, and arguments, the rendering whereof effectual, is the 
principal end of the ministry. On the other hand it is de- 
clared and evidenced, that sin is the great debasement of our 
natures, the ruin of our souls, the only evil in the world in its 
guilt and punishment; that a continuance in a state of it, with 
a rejection of the invitation of the gospel unto conversion to 
God, is a thing foolish, unworthy of a rational creature, and 
that which will be everlastingly pernicious. Whereas, there- 
fore, in the judgment of every rational creature, spiritual 
things are to be preferred before natural, eternal things before 
temporal, and that these things are thus disposed of in infinite 
goodness, love, and wisdom, they must needs be apt to affect 
the wills, and take the affections of men. And herein the effi- 
cacy of the word on the minds and consciences of men is re- 
solved into the authority of God. These precepts, these pro- 
mises, these threatenings, are his, who hath right to give them 
and power to execute them. And with his authority, his glo- 
rious greatness, and his infinite power, come under consi- 
deration. So also doth his goodness and love in an especial 
manner, with many other things, even all the known proper- 
ties of his holy nature, all which concur in giving weight, 
power, and efficacy, unto these motives and arguments. 

3. Great power and efficacy is added hereunto from the 
management of these motives in the preaching of the word. 
Herein by some the rhetorical faculty of them by whom it is 
dispensed is of great consideration. For hereby are they 
able to prevail very much on the minds of men. Being ac- 
quainted with the inclinations and dispositions of all sorts 
of persons, the nature of their affections and prejudices, 
with the topics or kinds and heads of arguments meet to af- 

2 a 2 


feet them and prevail with them ; as also the ways of in- 
sinuating persuasive motives to their minds, they express 
the whole in words elegant, proper, expressive, and suited 
to allure, draw, and engage them unto the ways and duties 
proposed unto them 3 . Herein do some place the principal 
use and efficacy of the ministry in the dispensation of the 
word; with me it is of no consideration. For our apostle 
rejects it utterly from any place in his ministry ; 1 Cor. ii. 4. 
' My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words 
of man's wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and 
of power.' Some of late have put in faint and weak excep- 
tions unto the latter clause, as though not an evidence of 
the powerful presence of the Spirit of God in the dispensa- 
tion of the gospel were intended therein, but the power of 
working miracles, contrary to the whole scope of the place, 
and consent of the best expositors. But that by the first 
clause, the persuasive act of human oratory, is excluded 
from use and efficacy in the preaching of the gospel, none 
as yet hath had the impudence to deny. But let this also be 
esteemed to be as useful and efficacious in this work, as to 
the end of preaching in the conversion of the souls of men, 
as any can imagine, it shall be granted. Only I shall take 
leave to resolve the efficacy of preaching into two other 

(1.) The institution of God. He hath appointed the preach- 
ing of the word to be the means, the only outward ordinary 
means, for the conversion of the souls of men ; 1 Cor. i. 17 
— 20. Mark xvi. 15, 16. Rom. i. 16. And the power or ef- 
ficacy of any thing that is used unto an end in spiritual 
matters, depends solely on its divine appointment unto 
that end. 

(2.) The especial gifts that the Spirit of God doth furnish 
the preachers of the gospel withal, to enable them unto an 
effectual discharge of their work; Eph. iv. 11 — 13. whereof 
we shall treat afterward. All the power, therefore, that these 
things are accompanied withal, is resolved into the sove- 
reignty of God. For he hath chosen this way of preaching 
for this end, and he bestows these gifts on whom he pleaseth. 

a Ti to o<f>EXo? , iav Eua-uvQfTOj [jt.lv o Xoyoj , KaKotruvdiro; 5e o rfvrtoq ; £t fth yap o-otyia-rou 
JtoWxaXElov 5 h lKX.Xws-itt EuyXwTTittf vv 6 jcai^oj. 'EttejJ^ Je nrpitTaiv ayuiv Ka] x.ag7ro<popia 
to wjoxei^uevov, hcu irgorStntia olpavZv to Trpoe-SoxofyxEvov ftfi yhv'ma. ^tTHadw, a.Xh' i Tpowoj. 
Athanas. de Semente. 


From these things it is that the persuasive motives which 
the word abounds withal unto conversion or turning to God 
from sin, have that peculiar efficacy on the minds of men 
which is proper unto them. 

4. We do not therefore, in this case, suppose that the 
motives of the word are left unto a mere natural operation, with 
respect unto the ability of them by whom it is dispensed ; 
but moreover that it is blessed of God, and accompanied with 
the power of the Holy Spirit, for the producing of its effect 
and end upon the souls of men. Only the operation of the 
Holy Ghost, on the minds and wills of men in and by these 
means, is supposed to extend no farther, but unto motives, 
arguments, reasons, and considerations, proposed unto the 
mind, so to influence the will and the affections. Hence 
his operation is herein moral, and so metaphorical, not real, 
proper, and physical. Now concerning this whole work, I 
affirm these two things : 

1 . That the Holy Spirit doth make use of it in the rege- 
neration or conversion of all that are adult, and that either 
immediately in and by the preaching of it, or by some other 
application of light and truth unto the mind derived from 
the word; for by the reasons, motives, and persuasive argu- 
ments which the word affords, are our minds affected, and 
our souls wrought upon in our conversion unto God, whence 
it becomes our reasonable obedience. And there are none 
ordinarily converted, but they are able to give some account 
by what considerations they were prevailed on thereunto. 

2. We say that the whole work, or the xvhole of the ivork 
of the Holy Ghost in our conversion, doth not consist herein; 
but there is a real physical work, whereby he infuseth a 
gracious principle of spiritual life into all that are effectually 
converted, and really regenerated, and without which, there 
is no deliverance from the state of sin and death which we 
have described ; which, among others, may be proved by the 
ensuing arguments. 

The principal arguments in this case will ensue in our 
proofs from the Scriptures, that there is a real physical work 
of the Spirit on the souls of men, in their regeneration. That 
all he doth, consisteth not in this moral suasion, the ensuing 
reasons do sufficiently evince. 


First, If the Holy Spirit worketh no otherwise on men 
in their regeneration or conversion, but by proposing unto 
them, and urging upon them, reasons, arguments, and motives, 
to that purpose 1 *; then after his whole work, and notwith- 
standing it, the will of man remains absolutely indifferent 
whether it will admit of them or no ; or whether it will con^ 
vert itself unto God upon them or no ; for the whole of this 
work consists in proposing objects unto the will ; with respect 
whereunto it is left undetermined, whether it will choose and 
close with them or no. And, indeed, this is that which 
some plead for. For they say, that in all men, at least all 
unto whom the gospel is preached, there is that grace pre- 
sent, or with them, that they are able to comply with the 
word if they please; and so believe, repent, or do any act of 
obedience unto God according to his will. And if they will, 
they can refuse to make use of this assistance, aid, power, 
or grace, and so continue in their sins. What this grace is, 
or whence men have this power and ability, by some is not 
declared. Neither is it much to be doubted but that many 
do imagine that it is purely natural ; only they will allow it 
to be called grace, because it is from God who made us. 
Others acknowledge it to be the work or effect of grace in- 
ternal, wherein part of the difference lay between the Pela- 
gians and semi-pelagians of old. But they all agree that it 
is absolutely in the power of the will of man, to make use of 
it or not ; that is, of the whole effect on them, or product in 
them, of this grace communicated in the way described. For, 
notwithstanding any thing wrought in us or upon us thereby, 
the will is still left various, flexible, and undetermined. It 
is true, that notwithstanding the grace thus administered, 
the will hath power to refuse it and to abide in sin. But that 
there is no more grace wrought in us, but what may be so 

b Non est igitur gratia Dei in liberi arbitrii natura, &c. in lege atque doctrina 
sicut Pelagius desipit, sed ad singulos actus datur illius voluntate de quo scriptuni 
est; pluvium voluntarium segregabis Deus baereditati tuee. Quia et liberum arbi- 
trium ad diligendum Deura primi peccati granditate perdidiraus ; et lex Dei atque 
doctrina quaravis sancta et justa, tarnen occidit, si non vivificet spiritus, per quem fit 
non ut audiendo sed ut obediendo, neque ut lectione sed ut dilectione teneatur. 
Quapropter ut in Deum credamus et pie vivamus, non volentis neque currentis sed 
miserentis est Dei; non quia velle non debemus et currere, sed quia ipse in nobis et 
velle operatur et currere ; non ergo gratiam dicamus esse doctrinam, sed agnosca- 
mus gratiam quae facit prodesse doctrinam; quae gratia si desit, videmus etiam obesse 
doctrinam. August. Epist. 107. ad Vitalem. 


refused, or that the will can make use of that grace for con- 
version, which it can refuse, is false. 

For, 1. this ascribes the whole glory of our regeneration 
and conversion unto ourselves, and not to the grace of God. 
For that act of our wills, on this supposition, whereby we 
convert unto God, is merely an act of our own, and not of the 
grace of God. This is evident, for if the act itself were of 
grace, then would it not be in the power of the will to hinder 
it. 2. This would leave it absolutely uncertain, notwith- 
standing the purpose of God, and the purchase of Christ, 
whether ever any one in the world should be converted unto 
God or no. For when the whole work of grace is over, it 
is absolutely in the power of the will of man whether it shall 
be effectual or no ; and so absolutely uncertain ; which is 
contrary to the covenant, promise, and oath of God, unto 
and with Jesus Christ. 3. It is contrary to express testi- 
monies of Scripture innumerable, wherein actual conversion 
unto God is ascribed unto his grace, as the immediate effect 
thereof. This will farther appear afterward. ' God worketh 
in us to will and to do ;' Phil. ii. 13. The act therefore 
itself of willing in our conversion, is of God's operation; 
and although we will ourselves, yet it is he who causeth us 
to will, by working in us to will and to do. And if the act 
of our will, in believing and obedience, in our conversion to 
God, be not the effect of his grace in us, he doth not • work 
in us both to will and to do of his own good pleasure.' 

Secondly, This moral persuasion, however advanced or im- 
proved, and supposed to be effectual, yet it confers no new 
real supernatural strength unto the soul. For whereas it 
worketh, yea, the Spirit or grace of God therein and thereby, 
by reasons, motives, arguments, and objective considera- 
tions, and no otherwise, it is able only to excite and draw 
out the strength which we have, delivering the mind and 
affections from prejudices and other moral impediments : 
real aid, and internal spiritual strength, neither is nor can 
be conferred thereby . And he who will acknowledge that 
there is any such internal spiritual strength communicated 
unto us, must also acknowledge that there is another work 

c Sed quid illud est quo corporeorum sensuum pulsantur, in agro cordis cui im- 
peudituristacultura, nee radicera potest figere nee germen emittere,nisi ille sumraus 
et verus Agricola potentia sui operis adhibuerit, et ad vitalem profectum ea quae sunt 
plantata perduxerit. Epist. ad Deraetriadem. 


of the Spirit of God in us and upon us, that can be effected by 
these persuasions. But thus it is in this case as some sup- 
pose. The mind of man is affected with much ignorance, 
and usually under the power of many prejudices, which by 
the corrupt course of things in the world, possess it from its 
first actings in the state of infancy. The will and the affec- 
tions likewise are vitiated with depraved habits, which by 
the same means are contracted. But when the gos-pel is 
proposed and preached unto them, the things contained in 
it, the duties it requires, the promises it gives, are so rational 
or so suited unto the principles of our reason ; and the sub- 
ject matter of them is so good, desirable, and beautiful, unto 
an intellectual appetite, that being well conveyed unto the 
mind, they are able to discard all the prejudices and disad- 
vantages of a corrupt course under which it hath suffered, 
and prevail with the soul to desist from sin, that is, a course 
of sinning, and to become a new man in all virtuous conver- 
sation. And that this is in the liberty and power of the 
will, is irrefragably proved by that sophism of Biel d out of 
Scotus and Occam, which contains the substance of what 
they plead in this cause. Yea, thus to do, is so suitable 
unto the rational principles of a well disposed mind, that to 
do otherwise, is the greatest folly and madness in the world. 
Especially will this work of conversion be unquestionably 
wrought, if the application of these means of it, be so dis- 
posed in the providence of God, as that they may be sea- 
sonable, with respect unto the frame and condition of the 
mind whereinto they are applied. And as sundry things are 
necessary to render the means of grace thus seasonable and 
congruous unto the present frame, temper, and disposition 
of the mind, so in such a congruity much of its efficacy doth 
consist. And this, as it v is said, is the work of the Holy 
Ghost, and an effect of the grace of God. For if the Spirit 
of God did not by the word, prevent, excite, stir up, and pro- 
voke the minds of men; did he not help and assist them 
when endeavouring to turn to God, in the removal of preju- 
dices and all sorts of moral impediments, men would con- 

d Omni dictamini rectae rationis potest voluntas se conformare ; sed diligere 
Deum super omnia est dictanien rectae rationis; ratio enim dictat inter omnia dili- 
genda esse aliquid summe diligendum. Iteju homo errans potest diligere creaturam 
super omnia, ergo etiam Deum ; mirum enim valde esset, quod voluntas se confor- 
mare possit dictamini erroneo et non recto. Biel 2. sent, distinc. 27. q. Art. 4. 


tinue and abide, as it were, dead in trespasses and sins, at 
least their endeavours after deliverance would be'weak and 

This is all the grace, all the work of the Spirit of God in 
our regeneration and conversion, which some will acknow- 
ledge, so far as I can learn from their writings and discourses 6 . 
But that there is more required thereunto, I have before de- 
clared. As also it hath been manifested what is the true and 
proper use and efficacy of these means in this work. But to 
place the whole of it herein, is that which Pelagius contended 
for of old ; yea, he granted a greater use and efficacy of 
grace, than I can find to be allowed in the present confused dis- 
courses of some on this subjects Wherefore it is somewhat 
preposterous to endeavour an imposition of such rotten errors 
upon the minds of men, and that by crude assertions, with- 
out any pretence of proof, as is the way of many. And that 
the sole foundation of all their harangues, namely, the suit- 
ableness of gospel-principles and promises unto our wisdom 
and reason, antecedently unto any saving work of the Spirit 
on our minds, is directly contradictory to the doctrine of our 
apostle, shall afterward be declared. But it may be, it will 
be said, that it is not so much what is Pelagian, and what is 
not, as what is truth and what is not, that is to be inquired 

e Hoc piarura mentium est, ut nihil sibi tribuant, sed totum gratis Dei ; unde 
quantumcunque aliquis det gratiae Dei, etiamsi subtraliat potestati naturae aut liberi 
arbitrii a pietate non recedit ; cum vero aliquid gratiae Dei subtrahitur et naturae 
tribuitur quod gratiae est, ibi potest periculum intervenire. Cassander. lib. Consult. 
Art. 68. 

f Pelagiana haeresis quodogmate Catholicam fidem destruere adorta sit, et quibus 
inipietatum venenis viscera ecclesiae atque ipsa vitalia corporis Christi voluerit occu- 
pare, notiora sunt quara ut opere narrationis indigeant. Ex his tanien una est blas- 
phemia, nequissimum et subtilissinnim gernieu aliarum, qua dicunt gratiani Dei se- 
cundum inerita hominum dari. Cum enim primo tautam naturae humanae vellent 
astruere sanitaiem ut per solum liberum arbitrium posset assequi Dei regnum ; eo 
quod tarn plene ipso conditionis suae prassidio juvaretur ; ut habens naturaliter ra- 
tionalem intellectum facile bonum eligeret malumque vitaret. Et ubi in utraque 
parte libera essent opera voluntatis, non facu'.tatem his qui mali sunt deesse, sed stu- 
dium. Cum ergo ut dixi totam justitiam hominis ex natural] vellent rectitudine ac 
possibilitate subsistere, atque banc definitioneni doctrina sana respueret, damnatum 
a Catholicis sensum et multis postea haereticae fraudis varietatibus coloratum, hoc 
apud se ingenio servaverunt, ut ad incipiendum, et ad proficienduni, et ad perseve- 
randum in bono necessarian] homini Dei gratiam profiterentur. Sed in hac pro- 
fessione quomodo vasa irae iiiolirentur irrepere, ipsa Dei gratia vasis misericordiae 
revelavit. Intellectum est enim, saluberrimeque perspectum hoc tantum eos de 
gratia confiteri, quod quaedam libero Arbitrio sit magistra, seque per cohorlationes, 
per legem, per doctrinam, per creaturam, per conte'mplationem, per miracula, per- 
que terrores exirinsecus judicio ejus ostendat ; quo unusquisque secundum voluntatis 
suae motum, si quEesierit inveniat, si petierit, recipiat; si pulsaverit iutroeat. Prosp. 
ad Ruffin. de lib. Arbit. 


after. And it is granted, that this is, and ought to be, our 
first and principal inquiry. But it is not unuseful to know 
in whose steps they tread, who at this day oppose the doc- 
trine of the effectual grace of Christ ; and what judgment 
the ancient church made of their principles and opinions. 

It is pretended yet farther, that grace in the dispensation 
of the word doth work really and efficiently, especially by il- 
lumination, internal excitations of the mind and affections ; 
and if thereon the will do put forth its act, and thereby de- 
termine itself in the choice of that which is good, in believ- 
ing and repenting ; then the grace thus administered concurs 
with it, helps and aids it in the perfecting of its act, so that 
the whole work is of grace. So pleaded the semi-pelagians, 
and so do others continue to do. But all this while, the way 
whereby grace or the Spirit of God worketh this illumina- 
tion, excites the affections and aids the will, is by moral 
persuasion only, no real strength being communicated or in- 
fused, but what the will is at perfect liberty to make use of 
or to refuse at pleasure. Now this in effect is no less than 
to overthrow the whole grace of Jesus Christ, and to render 
it useless. For it ascribes unto man the honour of his con- 
version, his will being the principal cause of it. It makes a 
man to beget himself anew, or to be born again of himself; 
to make himself differ from others, by that which he hath 
not in an especial manner received. It takes away the ana- 
logy that there is between the forming of the natural body 
of Christ in the womb, and the forming of his mystical body 
in regeneration. It makes the act of living unto God by 
faith and obedience, to be a mere natural act, no fruit of the 
mediation or purchase of Christ, and allows the Spirit of God 
no more power nor efficacy in or towards our regeneration, 
than is in a minister who preacheth the word, or in an orator, 
who eloquently and pathetically persuades to virtue and de- 
horts from vice. And all these consequences, it may be, will 
be granted by some amongst us, and allowed to be true ; to 
that pass are things come in the world, through the confident 
pride and ignorance of men. But not only it may be, but 
plainly and directly the whole gospel and grace of Christ are, 
renounced where they are admitted. 

Thirdly, This is not all that we pray for B , either for our- 

* Inaniter ct perfunctorie potius quam veraciter pro eis ut doctrinae cui adversan- 


selves or others, when we beg effectual grace for them or 
ourselves. There was no argument that the ancients more 
pressed the Pelagians withal, than that the grace which 
they acknowledged, did not answer the prayers of the 
church, or what we are taught in the Scripture to pray for. 
We are to pray only for what God hath promised, and for 
the communication of it unto us in that way whereby he 
will work it and effect it. Now he is at a great indifferency 
in this matter, who only prays that God would persuade 
him or others, to believe and to obey, to be converted or to 
convert himself. The church of God hath always prayed 
that God would work these things in us ; and those who 
have a real concernment in them, do pray continually that 
God would effectually work them in their hearts. They 
pray that he would convert them, that he would create a 
clean heart, and renew a right spirit in them ; that he would 
give them faith for Christ's sake, and increase it in them ; 
and that in all these things he would work in them by the 
exceeding greatness of his power both to will and to do ac- 
cording to his good pleasure. And there is not a Pelagian 
in the world who ever once prayed for grace, or gracious as- 
sistance against sin and temptation, with a sense of his want 
of it, but that his prayers contradicted his profession. To 
think that by all these 'petitions, with others innumerable 
dictated unto us in the Scripture, and which a spiritual sense 
of our wants will engage into, we desire nothing but only 
that God would persuade, excite, and stir us up to put forth 
a power and ability of our own, in the performance of what 
we desire, is contrary unto all Christian experience. Yea, 
for a man to lie praying with importunity, earnestness, and 
fervency, for that which is in his own power, and can never 
be effected but by his own power, is fond and ridiculous. 
And they do but mock God who pray unto him to do that 
for them which they can do for themselves, and which God 
cannot do for them but only when and as they do it them- 
selves. Suppose a man to have a power in himself to be- 
lieve and repent ; suppose these to be such acts of his will as 
God doth not, indeed cannot, by his grace work in him, but 
only persuade him thereunto, and shew him sufficient rea- 

tur credendo consenliant, Deo fundiraus preces, si ad ejus non pertinet gratiam con- 
vertere ad fidera suam, ipsi fidei contrarias voluntates. August. Epist. 107. 


son why he should so do; to what purpose should this man, 
or with what congruity could he, pray that God would give 
him faith and repentance. This some of late, as it seems, 
wisely observing, do begin to scoff at and reproach the 
prayers of Christians. For whereas in all their supplica- 
tions for grace, they lay the foundation of them in an hum- 
ble acknowledgment of their own vileness and impotency 
unto any thing that is spiritually good, yea, and a natural 
aversation from it, and a sense of the power and working of 
the remainder of in-dwelling sin in them ; hereby exciting 
themselves unto that earnestness and importunity in their 
requests for grace, which their 11 condition makes necessary 
(which hath been the constant practice of Christians since 
there was one in the world) ; this is by them derided and 
exposed to contempt. In the room therefore of such de- 
spised prayers, I shall supply them with an ancient form that 
is better suited unto their principles 1 . The preface unto it 
is, ' Ille ad Deum digne elevat manus, ille orationem bona 
conscientia efFundit qui potest dicere :' The prayer follow- 
eth : * Tu nosti Domine quam sanctae et purse et mundee 
sint ab omni malitia, et iniquitate, et rapina quas ad te ex- 
tendo manus. Quemadmodum justa et munda labia et ab 
omni mendacio libera quibus offero tibi deprecationes, ut 
mihi miserearis.' This prayer Pelagius taught a widow to 
make, as it was objected unto him in the Diospolitan synod, 
that is at Lydia in Palestine, cap. 6. only he taught her not 
to say that she had no deceit in her heart, as one among us 
doth wisely and humbly vaunt that he knoweth of none in 
his, so every way perfect is the man. Only to balance this 
of Pelagius, I shall give these men another prayer, but in 
the margin k , not declaring whose it is, lest they should cen- 

h Prima Divini muneris gratia est, ut erudiat nos ad nostras humilitatis confes- 
sionem, et agnoescere faciat, quod si quid boni agimus per ilium possumus, sine quo 
nihil possumus. Prosp. Sentent. 105. ex Augustino. 

1 Quicunque tribuit sibi bonum quod facit etiamsi videtur nihil mali manibus 
operari, jam cordis innocentiam perdidit in quo se largitori bonorum praatulit. Hie- 
ron. in cap. 16. Proverb. 

k O bone Domine Jesu, etsi ego admisi unde me damnare petes, tu non amisisti 
unde salvare soles. — Veruni est conscientia mea meretur damnationem, et poeniten- 
tia mea non sufficit ad satisfactionem. Sed certum est quod misericordia tua supe- 
rat omneni offensionem. Parce ergo mihi Domine, qui es salus vera et non vis mor- 
tem peccatoris : miserere Domine peccatrici animae meas, solve vincula ejus, sana 
vnlnera ejus. Ecce misericors Deus coram te exhibeo animam meam virtutum mu- 
neribus desolatam, catenis vitiorum ligatam, pondere peccatorum gravatam, delicto- 
rum sordibus fcedatam, discissam vulneribusdaemonum, pudidam etfcetidam ulceribus 


sure him to the gallows. Whereas therefore it seems to be 
the doctrine of some, that we have no grace from Christ but 
only that of the gospel teaching us our duty, and proposing 
a reward; I know not what they have to pray for, unless it 
be riches, wealth, and preferments, with those things that 
depend thereon. 

Fourthly, This kind of the operation of grace where it is 
solitary, that is, where it is asserted exclusively to an internal 
physical ivork of the Holy Spirit, is not suited to effect and 
produce the work of regeneration or conversion unto God, in 
persons who are really in that state of nature which we have 
before described. The most effectual persuasions cannot 
prevail with such men to convert themselves, any more than 
arguments can prevail with a blind man to see, or with a 
dead man to rise from the grave, or with a lame man to walk 
steadily. Wherefore the whole description before given 
from the Scripture of the state of lapsed nature, must be 
disproved and removed out of the way, before this grace 
can be thought sufficient to be for the regeneration and con- 
version of men in that estate. But some proceed on other 
principles ; men, they say, have by nature certain notions 
and principles concerning God, and the obedience due unto 
him ; which are demonstrable by the light of reason, and 
certain abilities of mind to make use of them unto their 
proper end. But they grant, at least some of them do 1 , that 
however these principles may be improved and acted by 
those abilities, yet they are not sufficient, or will not even- 
tually be effectual, to bring men unto the life of God, or to 
enable them so to believe in him, love him, and obey him, 
as that they may come at length unto the enjoyment of 

criminum : his et aliis gravioribus raalis quae tu melius vides quam ego obstrictam, 
oppressam, circumdatam, obvolutam, bonorum omnium relevamine destitutam, &c. 

1 Gratia qua Christi populus sumus hoc cohibetur 
Limine nobiscum, et formani hanc ascribitis i 11 i ; 
Ut cunctos vocet ilia quideni invitetque, neque ullum 
Praiteriens studeat communem adferre salutem 
Omnibus, et totum peccato absolvere mundum. 
Sed proprio quenque Arbitrio parere vocanti, 
Judicioque suo, mota se extendere mente 
Ad lucera oblatam, qua; se non substrahat ulli; 
Sed cupidos recti juvet illustretque volentes. 
Hinc adjutoris Domini bonitate magistra 
Crescere virtutum studia, ut quid quisque petendum 
Mandatis didicit jugi sectetur araore. — Prosp. de Ingratis, cap. 10. 


him ; at least they will not do this safely and easily, but 
through much danger and confusion ; wherefore God out 
of his goodness and love to mankind, hath made a farther 
revelation of himself by Jesus Christ in the gospel, with the 
especial way whereby his anger against sin is averted, and 
peace made for sinners, which men had before only a con- 
fused apprehension and hope about. Now the things re- 
ceived, proposed,and prescribed, in the gospel, are so good, 
so rational, so everyway suited unto the principles of our be- 
ings, the nature of our intellectual constitutions, or the rea- 
son of men, and those fortified with such rational and pow- 
erful motives, in the promises and threatenings of it, repre- 
senting unto us on the one hand the chiefest good which 
our nature is capable of, and on the other the highest evil 
to be avoided that we are obnoxious unto, that they can be 
refused or rejected by none, but out of a brutish love of sin, 
or the efficacy of depraved habits contracted by a vicious 
course of living. And herein consists the grace of God to- 
wards men, especially as the Holy Ghost is pleased to make 
use of these things in the dispensation of the gospel by the 
ministry of the church. For when the reason of men is by 
these means excited so far as to cast off* prejudices, and 
enabled thereby to make a right judgment of what is pro- 
posed unto it, it prevails with them to convert to God, to 
change their lives, and yield obedience according to the 
rule of the gospel that they may be saved. 

And no doubt this were a notable system of Christian 
doctrine, especially as it is by some rhetorically blended, or 
theatrically represented, in feigned stories and apologues, 
were it not defective in one or two things; for, first, it is ex- 
clusive of a supposition of the fall of man, at least as unto the 
depravation of our nature which ensued thereon; and, se- 
condly, of all real effective grace dispensed by Jesus Christ™; 
which render it a fantastic dream, alien from the design and 

m Ploremus coram Domino qui fecit nos ct homines et salvos. Nam si ille nos fecit 
homines, nos antem ipsi nos fecimus salvos, aliquid illo melius fecimus; melior est 
enim salvus homo quam quilibet homo. Si ergo tc Deus fecit hominem, ettu te fe- 
cisti bonum hominem, quod tu fecisti melius est. Aug. de Verb. Apost. Serm. 10. 

Natura humana etiamsi in ilia integritate in qua est condita, permanent, nullo 
modo seipsam creatore suo non adjuvaute servaret. Unde cum sine Dei gratia sa- 
lutem non posset custodire quam accepit, quomodo sine Dei gratia potest recuperare 
quam perdidit. Prosp. Sentent. 308. 



doctrine of the gospel. But it is a fond thing to discourse 
with men about either regeneration or conversion unto God, 
by whom these things are denied. 

Such a work of the Holy Spirit we must therefore in- 
quire after, as whereby the mind is effectually renewed, the 
heart changed, the affections sanctified, all actually and 
effectually, or no deliverance will be wrought, obtained, or 
ensue, out of the estate described. For notwithstanding the 
utmost improvement of our minds and reasons that can be 
imagined, and the most eminent proposal of the truths of the 
gospel, accompanied with the most powerful enforcements 
of duty and obedience that the nature of the things them- 
selves will afford ; yet the mind of man in the state of nature, 
without a supernatural elevation by grace, is not able so to 
apprehend them, as that its apprehension should be spiritual, 
saving, or proper unto the things apprehended. And not- 
withstanding the perception which the mind may attain unto 
in the truths of gospel proposals; and the conviction it may 
have of the necessity of obedience, yet is not the will able to 
apply itself unto any spiritual act thereof, without an ability 
wrought immediately in it by the power of the Spirit of God; 
or rather unless the Spirit of God by his grace do effect the 
act of willing in it. Wherefore, not to multiply arguments, 
we conclude, that the most effectual use of outward means 
alone, is not all the grace that is necessary unto, nor all that 
is actually put forth in, the regeneration of the souls of men. 

Having thus evidenced wherein the work of the Holy 
Spirit, in the regeneration of the souls of men, doth not con- 
sist, namely, in a supposed congruous persuasion of their 
minds where it is alone : 

I shall proceed to shew wherein it doth consist, and what 
is the true nature of it. And to this purpose I say, 

1. Whatever efficacy that moral operation, which accompa- 
nies, oris the effect of, the preaching of the word, as blessed 
and used by the Holy Spirit, is of, or may be supposed 
to be of, or is possible that it should be of, in and towards 
them that are unregenerate, we do willingly ascribe unto it. 
We grant that in the work of regeneration, the Holy Spirit 
towards those that are adult, doth make use of the word, 
both the law and the gospel, and the ministry of the church 
in the dispensation of it, as the ordinary means thereof; yea, 


this is ordinarily the whole external means that is made use 
of in this work, and an efficacy proper unto it, it is accompa- 
nied withal. Whereas therefore, some contend that there is 
no more needful to the conversion of sinners, but the preach- 
ing of the word unto them who are congruously disposed to 
receive it, and that the whole of the grace of God consists in 
the effectual application of it unto the minds and affections 
of men, whereby they are enabled to comply with it, and 
turn unto God by faith and repentance ; they do not ascribe 
a greater power unto the word, than we do by whom this 
administration of it is denied to be the total cause of con- 
version. For we assign the same power to the word as they 
do, and more also, only we affirm that there is an effect to 
be wrought in this work, which all this power, if alone, is 
insufficient for. But in its own kind is it sufficient and 
effectual, so far as that the effect of regeneration or conver- 
sion unto God is ascribed thereunto. This we have declared 

2. There is not only a moral, but a physical immediate 
operation of the Spirit by his powej~ and grace, or his pow- 
erful grace upon the minds or souls of men in their regene- 
ration™. This is that which we must cleave to, or all the 
glory of God's grace is lost, and the grace administered by 
Christ neglected. So is it asserted, Eph. i. 19, 20. ' That 
we may -know what is the exceeding greatness of his power 
towards us who believe, according to the working of his 
mighty power ; which he wrought in Christ when he raised 

m At vero omnipotens hominem cum gratia salvat, 

Ipsa suura consummat opus cui tempus agendi 

Semper adest, quae gesta velit non moribus illi 

Fit mora, non causis anceps suspenditur ullis. 

Nee quod sola potest cura officioque ministri 

Exequitur, famulisve vicem coramittit agendi. 

Qui quamvis multa admoneant mandata vocantis, 

Pulsant non intrant animas, Deus ergo sepultos 

Suscitat et solvit peccati compede vinctos. 

Hie obscuratis cordibus dat intellectum. 

Hie ex injustis justos facit, indit aniorem 

Quo redametur annus, et amor quern conferet ipse est. 

Hunc itaque affectum quo sumunt mortua vitam, 

Quo tenebra? fiunt lumen, quo immunda vilescunt; 

Quo stulti sapere incipiunt aegrique valescunt 

Nemo alii dat, nemo sibi. — Prosp. de Ingrat. cap. 15. 
Legant ergo et intelligant, intueantur et fateantur, nou lege atque doctrina inso- 
nante forinsecus, sed intima atque occulta, niirabili atque ineffubili potestate ope- 
rariDeuru in cordibus hominum non solum veras revelationes, sed etiam bonas vo- 
luntates. August, lib. de Grat. Christ, adv. Felagiuni et Caelest. cap. 24. 


him from the dead.' The power here mentioned, hath an 
exceeding greatness ascribed unto it, with respect unto the 
effect produced by it. The power of God, in itself, is as 
unto all acts equally infinite, he is omnipotent. But some 
effects are greater than others, and carry in them more than 
ordinary impressions of it. Such is that here intended, 
whereby God makes men to be believers, and preserves 
them when they are so. And unto this power of God, there 
is an actual operation or efficiency ascribed, the working of 
his mighty power. And the nature of this operation or effi- 
ciency is declared to be of the same kind with that which 
was exerted in the raising of Christ from the dead. And 
this was by a real physical efficiency of divine power. This 
therefore is here testified, that the work of God towards 
believers, either to make them so, or preserve them such, for 
all is one as unto our present purpose, consists in the acting 
of his divine power by a real internal efficiency. So God is 
said to fulfil ' in us all the good pleasure of his goodness, 
and the work of faith with power :' 2 Thess. i. 11. 2 Pet. i. 
3. And hence the work of grace in conversion is constant- 
ly expressed by words denoting a real internal efficiency, 
such are creating, quickening, forming, giving a new heart, 
whereof afterward. Wherever this work is spoken of with 
respect unto an active efficiency, it is ascribed unto God. 
He creates us anew, he quickens us, he begets us of his own 
will ; but where it is spoken of with respect unto us, there it 
is passively expressed ; we are created in Christ Jesus, we 
are new creatures, we are born again, and the like; which 
one observation is sufficient to avert the whole hypothesis 
of Arminian grace. Unless a work wrought by power, and 
that real and immediate be intended herein, such a work 
may neither be supposed possible, nor can be expressed. 
Wherefore it is plain in the Scripture, that the Spirit of God 
works internally, immediately, efficiently, in and upon the 
minds of men in their regeneration. The new birth is the 
effect of an act of his power and grace ; or, no man is bom 
again but it is by the inward efficiency of the Spirit. 

3. This internal efficiency of the Holy Spirit on the minds 
of men, as to the event, is infallible*, victorious, irresistible, 

n Quid est omnis qui audivit a Patre, et didicit, venit ad me ; nisi nuilus est qui 
audiat et discat a Patre et non veniat ad me ? Si eniin omnis qui audivit a Patre 

VOL. II. 2 B 


or always efficacious. But in this assertion, we suppose that 
the measure of the efficacy of grace, and the end to be attained, 
are fixed by the will of God. As to that end, whereunto of 
God it is designed, it is always prevalent or effectual, and 
cannot be resisted ; or, it will effectually work what God 
designs it to work ; for wherein he will work none shall let 
him ; and who hath resisted his will ? There are many mo- 
tions of grace even in the hearts of believers, which are thus 
far resisted, as that they attain not that effect which in their 
own nature they have a tendency unto. Were it otherwise, 
all believers would be perfect. But it is manifest in expe- 
rience, that we do not always answer the inclinations of grace, 
at least as unto the degree which it moves towards. But 
yet even such motions also, if they are of and from saving- 
grace, are effectual so far, and for all those ends which they 
are designed unto, in the purpose of God ; for his will shall 
not be frustrate in any instance. And where any work of grace 
is not effectual, God never intended it should be so, nor did 
put forth that power of grace which was necessary to make 
it so. Wherefore in or towards whomsoever the Holy 
Spirit puts forth his power, or acts his grace for their rege- 
neration, it removes all obstacles, overcomes all oppositions, 
and infallibly produceth the effect intended . This proposi- 
tion being of great importance to the glory of God's grace, 
and most signally opposed by the patrons of corrupted na- 
ture and man's freewill in the state thereof, must be both 
explained and confirmed. We say, therefore, 

(1.) The power which the Holy Ghost puts forth in our 
regeneration, is such in its acting or exercise, as our minds, 
wills, and affections, are suited to be wrought upon, and to 
be affected by it, according to their natures, and natural ope- 
rations. ' Turn thou me, and I shall be turned ; draw me, 
and I shall run after thee.' He doth neither act in them any 
otherwise than they themselves are meet to be moved and 

et didicit, venit, profecto oranis qui non venit non audivit a Patre nee didic't : nam 
si audisset et didicisset veniret; — base itaque gratia quae occulte bumanis cordibus 
divina largitate tribuitur, a nullo iluro corde respuitur ; ideo quippe tribuitur ut cor- 
dis duritia primitus auferatur. Augustin. de Praedestinatione Sanctorum, lib. 1. 
cap. 8. 

° O qualis est artifcx ille Spiritus ! nulla ad discendum mora agitur in orane quod 
voluerit. Mox enim ut eligeret mentem docet ; solumque tetigisse docuisse est. Nam 
humamnn subito ut illustrat immutat affectum ; abnegat hoc repente quod erat, ex- 
hibet repente quod non erat. Gregor. Horn. 30. in Evangel. 


move, to be acted and act, according to their own nature, 
power, and ability. He draws us with ' the cords of a man.' 
And the work itself is expressed by persuading, 'God per- 
suade Japhet ;' and alluring, ' I will allure her into the wil- 
derness and speak comfortably:' for as it is certainly effec- 
tual, so it carries no more repugnancy unto our faculties, 
than a prevalent persuasion doth. So that, 

(2.) He doth not, in our regeneration, possess the mind 
with any enthusiastical impressions ; nor acteth absolutely 
upon us as he did in extraordinary prophetical inspirations of 
old, where the minds and organs of the bodies of men were 
merely passive instruments, moved by him above their own 
natural capacity and activity, not only as to the principle of 
working, but as to the manner of operation. But he works 
on the minds of men, in and by their own natural actings, 
through an immediate influence and impression of his power. 
' Create in me a clean heart, O God.' He worketh to will 
and to do. 

(3.) He therefore offers no violence or compulsion unto 
the will p . This that faculty is not naturally capable to give 
admission unto. If it be compelled it is destroyed. And the 
mention that is made in the Scripture, of compelling ('com- 
pel them to come in'), respects the certainty of the event, not 
the manner of the operation on them. But whereas the will 
in the depraved condition of fallen nature, is not only ha- 
bitually filled and possessed with an aversion from that which 
is good spiritually (alienated from the life of God), but also 
continually acts an opposition unto it, as being under the 
power of the carnal mind which is 'enmity against God;' 
and whereas this grace of the Spirit in conversion doth pre- 
vail against all this opposition, and is effectual and victori- 
ous over it ; it will be inquired how this can any otherwise 
be done, but by a kind of violence and compulsion ; seeing 
we have evinced already that moral persuasion and objec- 
tive allurement is not sufficient thereunto ? Ans. It is ac- 
knowledged, that in the work of conversion unto God, though 

P Christus non dicit, duxerit, ut illic aliquo modo intelligaraus praecedere volun- 
tatem ; sed dicit traxerit, quis autera trahitur si jam volebat ; et tamen nemo venit 
nisi velit, trahitur ergo miris modis ut velit, ab illo qui novit intus in ipsis hominum 
cordibus operari ; non ut homines quod fieri non potest, nolentes credant, sed ut vo- 
lentes ex nolentibus fiant. August, cont. duas Epist. Pelag. cap. 19. 

Certum est nos velle cum voiumus, sed Hie facit ut velimus, de quo dictum est, 
Deus esbqui operatur in nobis velle. Idem de grat. et lib. Arbit. cap. 16. 

2 b 2 


not in the very act of it, there is a reaction between grace 
and the will, their acts being contrary, and that grace is 
therein victorious ; and yet no violence or compulsion is of- 
fered unto the will ; for, 

[1.] The opposition is not ad idem. The enmity and op- 
position that is acted by the will against grace, is against it as 
objectively proposed unto it. So do men resist the Holy Ghost ; 
that is, in the external dispensation of grace by the word. 
And if that be alone, they may always resist it; the enmity 
that is in them will prevail against it ; 'Ye always resist the 
Holy Ghost.' The will, therefore, is not forced by any power 
put forth in grace, in that way wherein it is capable of mak- 
ing opposition unto it, but the prevalency of grace is of it 
as it is internal, working really and physically, which is not 
the object of the will's opposition ; for it is not proposed 
unto it, as that which it may accept or refuse, but worketh 
effectually in it. 

[2.] The will, in the first act of conversion (as even sun- 
dry of the schoolmen acknowledge), acts not but as it is acted, 
moves not but as it is moved, and therefore is passive therein 
in the sense immediately to be explained : and if this be not 
so, it cannot be avoided, but that the act of our turning unto 
God is a mere natural act, and not spiritual or gracious. For 
it is an act of the will not enabled thereunto antecedently 
by grace. Wherefore it must be granted, and it shall be 
proved, that in order of nature, the acting of grace in the 
will in our conversion is antecedent unto its own acting; 
though in the same instant of time wherein the will is moved, 
it moves ; and when it is acted, it acts itself, and preserves 
its own liberty in its exercise. There is therefore herein an 
inward almighty secret act of the power of the Holy Ghost, 
producing or effecting in us the will of conversion unto God, 
so acting our wills, as that they also act themselves, and that 
freely. So Austin, cont. Duas Epistol. Pelag. lib. 1. cap. 19. 
'Trahitur (homo) miris modis ut velit, ab illo qui novit intus 
in ipsis cordihus hominum opera ri, non ut homines, quod fieri 
non possit, nolentes credant, sed ut volentes ex nolentibus 
fiant.' The Holy Spirit, who in his power and operation is 
more intimate, as it were, unto the principles of our souls 
than they are to themselves, doth with the preservation, and 
in the exercise of the liberty of our wills, effectually work 


our regeneration and conversion unto God. This is the sub- 
stance of what we plead for in this cause, and which declares 
the nature of this work of regeneration, as it is an inward 
spiritual work. I shall therefore confirm the truth proposed 
with evident testimonies of Scripture, and reasons contained 
in them or educed from them. 

First, The ivork of conversion itself, and in especial the 
act of believing**, or faith itself, is expressly said to be of God, 
to be wrought in us by him, to be given unto us from him. 
The Scripture says not that God gives us ability or power 
to believe only, namely, such a power as we may make use 
of if we] will, or do otherwise ; but faith, repentance, and 
conversion, themselves are said to be the work and effect of 
God. Indeed there is nothing mentioned in the Scripture 
concerning the communicating of power, remote or next unto 
the mind of man, to enable him to believe antecedently unto 
actual believing. A remote power, if it may be so called, in 
the capacities of the faculties of the soul, the reason of the 
mind, and liberty of the will, we have given an account con- 
cerning. But for that which some call a next pow T er r , or an 
ability to believe in order of nature antecedent unto believ- 
ing itself, wrought in us by the grace of God, the Scripture 
is silent. The apostle Paul saith of himself, iravra \a\v(o iv 
tw IvSwafiovvTi jit£ XpiGTw, Phil. iv. 13. ' I can do all things, 
or prevail in all things, through Christ who enableth me ;' 
where a power or ability seems to be spoken of antecedent 
unto acting. But this is not a power for the first act of faith, 
but a power in them that believe. Such a power I acknow- 
ledge, which is acted in the co-operation of the Spirit and 
grace of Christ, with the grace which believers have received, 
unto the performance of all acts of holy obedience, whereof 

1 Restat ut ipsaro fidem unde oninis justitia sumit initium, non liumano, quo isti 
exlolluntur, tribuamus arbitrio, nee ullis precedentibus meritis, quoniam inde inci- 
piunt bonaqutecunque sunt merita sed gratuitum Dei donum esse fateamur, si gratiam 
veraiu, id est, sine ineritis cogiterr.us. August. Epist. 105. 

Nollem ergo his tani claiis testiuioniis repugnare, et tamen volens a seipsosibi esse 
quod credit quasi componit cum Deo at partem fidei sibi vendicet, atque illi partem 
reliuquat; et quod est. elatius, primam tollit ipse, sequentem dat illi; et in eo quod 
dicit esse amborum, priorem se, posteriorem facit Deurn. August, de Praedest. Sanct. 
cap. 2. 

r Quando Dcus docet per Spiritus gratiam, ita docet ut quod quisque didicerit non 
tantuni cognoscendo videat, sed etiam volendo. appetat agendoque perficiat. Et ipso 
divino docendi modo etiam ipsa voluntas, et ipsa operatio non sola volendi et ope- 
randi naturalis possibilitas adjuvatur. Si enim solum posse nostrum liac gratia juva- 
retur, ita diceret dominus, omnia qui audiverit a Patre et didicit potest venire ad me. 
August, de Grat. Christ. Contra Pelagium, cap. 14. 


I must treat elsewhere. Believers have a stock of habitual 
grace, which may be called indwelling-grace, in the same 
sense wherein original corruption is called indwelling-sin. 
And this grace, as it is necessary unto every act of spiritual 
obedience, so of itself, without the renewed co-working of 
the Spirit of Christ, it is not able nor sufficient to produce 
any spiritual act. This working of Christ upon, and with, 
the grace we have received, is called enabling of us. But 
with persons unregenerate, and as to the first act of faith, it 
is not so. 

But it will be objected, that every thing which is actually 
accomplished, was in potentia before. There must, there- 
fore, be in us a power to believe, before we do so actually. 
Ans. The act of God working faith in us, is a creating 
act. For we are his 'workmanship created in Christ Jesus;' 
Eph. ii. 10. And he that is in Christ Jesus ' is a new crea- 
ture;' 2 Cor. v. 17. Now the effects of creating acts are not 
in potentia any where, but in the active power of God ; so was 
the world itself before its actual existence. This is termed 
potentia logica; which is no more but a negation of any con- 
tradiction to existence; not potentia physica, which includes 
a disposition unto actual existence. Notwithstanding, 
therefore, all these preparatory works of the Spirit of God, 
which we allow in this matter, there is not by them wrought 
in the minds and wills of men, such a next power, as they 
call it, as should enable them to believe without farther ac- 
tual grace working faith itself. Wherefore, with respect to 
believing, the first act of God is to work in us *■ to will ;' 
Phil. ii. 13. ' He worketh in us to will.' Now to will to be- 
lieve, is to believe. This God works in us by that grace 
which Austin and the school-men call gratia operans, because 
it worketh in us, without us, the will being merely moved 
and passive therein. That there is a power or faculty of 
believing, given unto all men unto whom the gospel is 
preached, or who are called by the outward dispensation of 
it, some do pretend. And that because those unto whom 
the word is so preached, if they do not actually believe, shall 
perish eternally, as is positively declared in the gospel; 
Mark xvi. 16. But this they could not justly do, if they 
had not received a power or faculty of believing. 

Ans, 1 . Those who believe not upon the proposal of 


Christ in the gospel, are left 'without remedy in the guilt 
of those other sins, for which they must perish eternally; 
1 If you believe not,' saith Christ, ' that I am he, you shall 
die in your sins;' John viii. 12. 

2. The impotency that is in men as to the act of believ- 
ing, is contracted by their own fault, both as it ariseth from 
the original depravation of nature, and as it is increased by 
corrupt prejudices, and contracted habits of sin: wherefore 
they justly perished, of whom yet it is said, ' That they could 
not believe;' John xii. 39. 

3. There is none by whom the gospel is refused, but they 
put forth an act of the will in its rejection, which all men 
are free unto and able for. ' I would have gathered you but 
you would not;' Matt, xxiii. 37. ' You will not come to me 
that you may have life.' 

But the Scripture positively affirms of some to whom the 
gospel was preached that they ' could not believe ;' John 
xii. 39. And of all natural men, that ' they cannot perceive 
the things of God;' 1 Cor. ii. 14. neither is it 'given unto 
all to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God/ but some 
only; Matt. xi. 25. And those to whom it is not so given, 
have not the power intended. Besides, faith is not of all, or 
all ' have not faith ;' 2 Thess. iii. 2. But it is peculiar to 
the elect of God; Tit. i. 1. Acts xiii. 48. And these elect, 
are but some of those that are called ; Matt. xx. 1G. 

Yet farther to clear this it may be observed, that this 
first act of willing maybe considered two ways. (1.) As 
it wrought in the will subjectively , and so it is formally only 
in that faculty. And in this sense the will is merely passive, 
and only the subject moved or acted. And in this respect, 
the act of God's grace in the will, is an act of the will. But, 
(2.) it may be considered as it is efficiently also in the will, 
as being acted, it acts itself. So it is from the will as its 
principle, and is a vital act thereof, which gives it the na- 
ture of obedience. Thus the will in its own nature is mo- 
bilis; fit and meet to be wrought upon by the grace of the 
Spirit, to faith and obedience ; with respect unto the creating 
act of grace working faith in us, it is mota, moved and acted 
thereby. And in respect of its own elicit act, as it so acted 
and moved, it is movens, the next efficient cause thereof. 

These things being premised for the clearing of the nature 


of the operation of the Spirit in the first communication of 
grace unto us, and the will's compliance therewithal, we return 
unto our arguments or testimonies given unto the actual col- 
lation of faith s upon us by the Spirit and grace of God, which 
must needs be effectual and irresistible ; for the contrary im- 
plies a contradiction, namely, that God should ' work what 
is not wrought;' Phil. i. 29. 'To you it is given on the be- 
half of Christ; not only to believe on him, but also to suffer 
for his sake.' To believe on Christ, expresseth saving faith 
itself. This is given unto us. And how is it given us? 
Even by the power of God working in us ' to will and to do 
of his own good pleasure;' chap. ii. 13. Our faith is our 
coming to Christ. * And no man,' saith he, ' can come unto 
me, except it be given him of my Father;' John vi. 65. All 
power in ourselves for this end, is utterly taken away ; ' no 
man can come unto me 1 .' However we may suppose men to 
be prepared or disposed, whatever arguments may be pro- 
posed unto them, and in what season soever, to render things 
congruous and agreeable unto their inclinations, yet no man 
of himself can believe, can come to Christ, unless faith itself 
be given unto him ; that is, be wrought in him by the grace 
of the Father; Col.ii. 11. So it is again asserted, and that 
both negatively and positively; Eph. ii. 8. ' By grace are ye 
saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift, 
of God.' Our own ability, be it what it will, however assisted 
and excited, and God's gift ar j contradistinguished. If it 
be of ourselves, it is not the gift of God; if it be the gift of 
God, it is not of ourselves. And the manner how God be- 
stows this gift upon us, is declared; ver. 10. ' For we are 
his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.' 
Good works, or gospel obedience, are the things designed. 
These must proceed from faith, or they are not acceptable 

8 Siquis sine gratia Dei credentibus, volentibus, desiderantibus, conantibus mi- 
sericordiam dicit conferri ; non autem divinitus ut credamus, velimus, per infusionem 
et inspirationeni Spiritus sancti in nobis fieri confitetur, anathema sit. Cone. Arau- 
sic. 2. Cant. 6. 

Datur potestas ut filii Dei fiant qui credunt in eurn, curu hoc ipsum datur ut cre- 
dant in eutn. Qua? potestas nisi detur a Deo nulla esse potest ex libero arbitrio, 
quia nee liberum bono eritquod liberator non liberaverit. August, lib. 1. cont.Duas 
Epist, Pelag. cap. 3. 

' Restat ut ipsam fidem unde omnis justttia sumil initium, non humane, quo isti 
extolluntur, tribuamus arbitrio, nee uilis precedentibus mentis, quoniam inde inci- 
piunt bona quaeennque sunt merita, sed gratu;'tuni Dei donum esse fateamur, si gra- 
tiain veiam.id est, sine meritis cogitemus. August. Epist. 105. 


with God ; Heb. xi. 6. And the way whereby this is wrought 
in us, or a principle of obedience, is by a creating act of 
God; we ' are his workmanship created in Jesus Christ.' In 
like manner God is said to ' give us repentance;' 2 Tim. ii. 
25. Acts. xi. 18. This is the whole of what we plead. God 
in our conversion, by the exceeding greatness of his power, 
as he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead, 
actually worketh faith and repentance in us; gives them unto 
us, bestows them on us, so that they are mere effects of his 
grace in us. And his working in us, infallibly produceth the 
effect intended, because it is actual faith that he works; and 
not only a power to believe, which we may either put forth 
and make use of, or suffer to be fruitless, according to the 
pleasure of our own wills. 

Secondly, As God giveth and worketh in us faith and 
repentance, so the way whereby he doth it, or the manner 
how he is said to effect them in us, make it evident that he 
doth it by a power infallibly efficacious, and which the will of 
man doth never resist. For this way is such, as that he 
thereby takes away all repugnancy, all resistance, all oppo- 
sition, every thing that lieth in the way of the effect intended ; 
Deut. xxx. 6. * The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, 
and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all 
thine heart, and all thy soul, that thou mayest live.' A denial 
of the work here intended, is expressed chap. xxix. 4. ' The 
Lord hath not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to 
see, and ears to hear unto this day.' What it is to have the 
heart circumcised, the apostle declares, Col. ii. 11. 'It is 
the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh by the cir- 
cumcision of Christ;' that is, our conversion to God. It is 
the giving a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to 
hear; that is, spiritual light and obedience by the removal of 
all obstacles and hindrances. This is the immediate work 
of the Spirit of God himself. No man ever circumcised his 
own heart. No man can say he began to do it by the power 
of his own will, and then God only helped him by his grace. 
As the act of outward circumcision on the body of a child, 
was the act of another, and not of the child who was only 
passive therein, but the effect was in the body of the child 
only ; so is it in this spiritual circumcision. It is the act of 
God whereof our hearts are the subject. And whereas it is 


the blindness, obstinacy, and stubbornness in sin, that is in 
us by nature, with the prejudices which possess our minds 
and affections, which hinder us from conversion unto God, 
by this circumcision they are taken away. For by it, the 
' body of the sins of the flesh is put off.' And how should 
the heart resist the work of grace, when that whereby it 
should resist is effectually taken away ? 

Ezek. xxxvi. 26.  A new heart also will I give you, and a 
new spirit will I put within you ; and I will take away the stony 
heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 
And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk 
in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do 
them.' To which may be added, Jer. xxiv. 7. * And I will 
give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord, and they 
shall be my people, and I will be their God ; so they shall 
return unto me with their whole heart.' As also, Isa.xliv. 3 — 5. 
* I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon 
the dry ground ; I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my 
blessing on thy offspring ; and they shall spring up as among 
the grass, as willows by the water-courses. One shall say, 
I am the Lord's.' So Jer. xxxi. 33. ' I will put my law in 
their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.' I shall first 
inquire two things about these concurrent testimonies : 1. Is 
it lawful for us, is it our duty, to pray that God would do 
and effect what he had promised to do, and that both for 
ourselves and others ? For ourselves, that the work of our 
conversion may be renewed, carried on, and consummated in 
the way and by the means whereby it was begun ; that so 
he who hath begun the good work in us, may perfect it to 
the day of Jesus Christ; Phil. i. 6. For those who are con- 
verted and regenerated, and are persuaded on good and in- 
fallible grounds that so they are, may yet pray for those 
things which God promiseth to work in their first conversion. 
And this is, because the same work is to be preserved and 
carried on in them by the same means, the same power, the 
same grace, wherewith it was begun. And the reason is, 
because this work, as it is merely the work of conversion, is 
immediately perfected and completed as to the being of it; 
yet as it is the beginning of a work of sanctification, it is 
continually to be renewed and gone over again, because of 
the remainder of sin in us, and the imperfection of our grace. 


For Others, that it may be both begun and finished in them. 
And do we not in such prayers desire, that God would really, 
powerfully, effectually, by the internal efficiency of his Spi- 
rit take away all. hindrances, oppositions, and repugnancy 
in our minds and wills, and actually collate upon us, give 
unto us, and work in us, a new principle of obedience, that 
we may assuredly love, fear, and trust in God always ? Or, 
do we only desire that God would so help us, as to leave us 
absolutely undetermined, whether we will make use of his 
help or no ? Did ever any pious soul couch such an inten- 
tion in his supplications ? He knows not how to pray, who 
prays not that God would by his own immediate power, 
work those things in him which he thus prayeth for. And 
unto this prayer also grace effectual is antecedently required". 
Wherefore I inquire, 2. Whether God doth really effect and 
work in any the things which he here promiseth that he will 
work and effect? If he doth not, where is his truth and 
faithfulness? It is said that he doth so, and will so do, 
provided that men do not refuse his tender of grace, nor 
resist his operations, but comply with them. But this yields 
no relief. 

For, (1.) what is it, not to refuse the grace of conversion, 
but to comply with it ? Is it not to believe, to obey, to con- 
vert ourselves ? so then God promiseth to convert us, on 
condition that we convert ourselves ; to work faith in us, on 
condition that we do believe : and a new heart, on condition 
that we make our hearts new ourselves. To this are all the 
adversaries of the grace of God brought by those conditions 
which they feign of its efficacy to preserve the sovereignty 
of freewill in our conversion, that is, unto plain and open 
contradictions, which have been charged sufficiently upon 
them by others, and from which they could never extricate 
themselves. (2.) Where God promiseth x thus to loork, as 
these testimonies do witness, and doth not effectually do so ; 
it must be either because he cannot or because he will not ; 

u Semper quidera adjutorium gratis nobis est a Deo poscendum, sed nee ipsum 
quod possumus viribus nostris assignem. Neque enim haberi potest ipse saltern ora- 
tionis affectus nisi divinitus fuerit attributus. Ut ergo desiderernus adjutorium 
gratiae, hoc ipsum quoque est gratia?, ipsa namque incipit eftundi ut incipiat posci. 
Fulgent. Epist. 6. ad Theod. 

x Hoc promittit Deus quod ipsefacit; non enim ipsepromittit et alius facit; quod 
jam non est promittere sed pra;dicere. ldeo non ex operibus sed ex vocante, ne ip- 
sorum sit, non Dei. — August, de Spirit, et Lit. cap. 24. 


if it be said, that he doth it not, because he will not, then 
this is that which is ascribed unto God; that he promiseth 
indeed to take away our stony heart, and to give us a new 
heart with his law written in it, but he will not do so, which 
is to overthrow his faithfulness, and to make him a liar. If 
they say it is, because he cannot, seeing that men oppose 
and resist the grace whereby he would work this effect; 
then where is the wisdom of promising to work that in us, 
which he knew he could not effect without our compliance, 
and which he knew that we would not comply withal ? But 
it will be said, that God promiseth to work and effect these 
things, but in such away as he hath appointed; that is, by 
giving such supplies of grace as may enable us thereunto, 
which if we refuse to make use of, the fault is merely our 
own. Ans. It is the things themselves that are promised, 
and not such a communication of means to effect them, as 
may produce them, or may not, as the consideration of the 
places will manifest : whereof observe, 

[1.] The subject spoken of in these promises, is the heart. 
And the heart in the Scripture is taken for the whole rational 
soul, not absolutely, but as all the faculties of the soul are 
one common principle of all our moral operations. Hence 
it hath such properties assigned unto it as are peculiar to 
the mind or understanding, as to see, perceive, to be wise, 
and to understand ; and on the contrary, to be blind and 
foolish ; sometimes such as belong properly to the will and 
affections, as to obey, to love, to fear, to trust in God. 
Wherefore the principle of all our spiritual and moral ope- 
rations is intended hereby. 

[2.] There is a description of this heart, as it is in us, 
antecedent unto the effectual working of the grace of God in 
us: it is said to be stony. The 'heart of stone.' It is not 
absolutely, that it is said so to be, but with respect unto some 
certain end. This end is declared to be our walking in the 
ways of God, or our fearing of hirn. Wherefore our hearts 
by nature, as unto living to God, or his fear, are a stone, or 
stony ; and who hath not experience hereof from the re- 
mainders of it still abiding in them 1 And two things are 
included in this expression: 1st. An ineptitude unto any 
actings towards that end. Whatever else the heart can do 
of itself, in things natural or civil, in outward things; as to 


the end of living unto God, it can of itself, without his 
grace, do no more than a stone can do of itself, unto any 
end whereunto it may be applied. 2nd. An obstinate, stub- 
born, opposition unto all things conducing unto that end. 
Its hardness or obstinacy in opposition to the pliableness of 
a heart of flesh, is principally intended in this expression. 
And in this stubbornness of the heart, consists all that re- 
pugnancy to the grace of God, which is in us by nature, 
and whence all that resistance doth arise, which some say is 
always sufficient to render any operation of the Spirit of 
God by his grace fruitless. 

[3.] This heart, that is, this impotency and enmity, which 
is in our natures unto conversion and spiritual obedience, 
God says, He will take away ; that is, he will do so in them 
who are to be converted according to the purpose of his 
will, and whom he will turn unto himself y . He doth not say 
that he will endeavour to take it away, nor that he will use 
such or such means for the taking of it away, but absolute- 
ly that he will take it away. He doth not say, that he will 
persuade with men to remove it or do it away, that he will 
aid and help them in their so doing, and that so far as that 
it shall wholly be their own fault if it be not done, which 
no doubt it is, where it is not removed ; but positively that 
he himself will take it away. Wherefore the act of taking 
it away, is the act of God by his grace, and not the act of 
our wills, but as they are acted thereby; and that such an 
act as whose effect is necessary. It is impossible that God 
should take away the stony heart, and yet the stony heart 
not be taken away. What, therefore, God promiseth herein, 
in the removal of our natural corruption, is, as unto the 
event, infallible, and as to the manner of operation irre- 

[4.] As what God taketh from us in the cure of our ori- 
ginal disease, so what he bestoiceth on us, or works in us, is 
here also expressed; and this is a new heart, and a new spirit. 
' I will give you a new heart.' And withal it is declared 
what benefit we do receive thereby. For those who have 
this new heart bestowed on them, or wrought in them, they 
do actually by virtue thereof, fear the Lord and walk in his 

y Hiec gratia quaeocculte humanis cordibus divina largitate tribuitur, a nullo duro 
corde respuitnr ; ideo quippe tribuitur, ut cordis durities primitus auferatur. Augus. 
de Praedest. Sanctor. cap. 8. 


ways. For so it is affirmed in the testimonies produced, 
and no more is required thereunto, as nothing* less will effect 
it. There must, therefore, be in this new heart thus given 
us a principle of all holy obedience unto God, the creating 
of which principle in us, is our conversion to him ; for God 
doth convert us, and we are converted. And how is this 
new heart communicated unto us ? 'I will,' saith God, ' give 
them a new heart.' That is, it may be, he will do what is to 
be done on his part that they may have it. But we may re- 
fuse his assistance and go without it. No, saith he, ' I will 
put a new spirit within them;' which expression is capable 
of no such limitation or condition. And to make it more 
plain yet, he affirms, that he 1 will write his law in our hearts.' 
It is confessed, that this is spoken with respect unto his 
writing of the law of old in the tables of stone. As then he 
wrote the letter of the law in the tables of stone, so that 
thereon, and thereby, they were actually engraven therein ; 
so by writing the law, that is, the matter and substance of 
it, in our hearts, it is as really fixed therein, as the letter of 
it was of old in the tables of stone. And this can be no 
otherwise, but in a principle of obedience and love unto it, 
which is actually wrought of God in us. And the aids or 
assistances which some men grant, that are left unto the 
power of our own wills to use or not to use, have no analogy 
with the writing of the law in tables of stone. And the end 
of the work of God described, is not a power to obey, 
which may be exerted or not. But it is actual obedience in 
conversion, and all the fruits of it. And if God doth not in 
these promises, declare a real efficiency of internal grace, 
taking away all repugnancy of nature unto conversion, curing 
its depravation actually and effectually, and communicating 
infallibly a principle of scriptural obedience, I know not in 
what words such a work may be expressed. And whatever 
is excepted, as to the suspending of the efficacy of this work 
upon conditions in ourselves, it falls immediately into gross 
and sensible contradictions. And an especial instance of 
this work we have, Acts xvi. 14. 

A third argument is taken from the state and condi- 
tion of men by nature before described. For it is such, 
as that no man can be delivered from it, but by that power- 
ful, internal, effectual grace which we plead, such as wherein 


the mind and will of man can act nothing in or towards 
conversion to God, but as they are acted by grace. The 
reason why some despise, some oppose, some deride, the 
work of the Spirit of God in our regeneration or conversion, 
or fancy it to be only an outward ceremony, or a moral 
change of life and conversation, is, their ignorance of the 
corrupted and depraved estate of the souls of men, in their 
minds, wills, and affections by nature. For if it be such as 
we have described, that is, such as in the Scripture it is re- 
presented to be, they cannot be so brutish as once to ima- 
gine, that it may be cured, or that men may be delivered 
from it, without any other aid but that of those rational con- 
siderations, which some would have to be the only means of 
our conversion to God. We shall, therefore, inquire what 
that grace is, and what it must be, whereby we are delivered 
from it. 

1. It is called a vivification or quickening. We are by 
nature dead in trespasses and sins, as hath been proved, and 
the nature of that death at large explained. In our deliver- 
ance from thence, we are said to be ' quickened ;' Eph. v. 5. 
Though dead, we 'hear the voice of the Son of God, and live;' 
John v. 25. ' Being made alive unto God through Jesus 
Christ;' Rom. vi. 11. Now, no such work can be wrought 
in us, but by an effectual communication of a principle of 
spiritual life, and nothing else will deliver us. Some think 
to evade the power of this argument, by saying, that all 
these expressions are metaphorical, and arguings from them, 
are but fulsome metaphors. And it is well, if the whole 
gospel be not a metaphor unto them. But if there be not 
an impotency in us by nature unto all acts of spiritual life ; 
like that which is in a dead man unto the acts of life natu- 
ral ; if there be not an alike power of God required unto our 
deliverance from that condition, and the working in us a 
principle of spiritual obedience, as is required unto the rais- 
ing of him that is dead, they may as well say, that the Scrip- 
ture speaks not truly, as that it speaks metaphorically. 
And, that it is almighty power, the exceeding greatness of 
God's power, that is put forth and exercised herein, we have 
proved from Eph. i. 18, 19. Col. ii. 12, 13. 2 Thess. i. 11. 
2 Pet. i. 3. And what do these men intend by this quick- 
ening, this raising us from the dead, by the power of God? 


A persuasion of our minds by rational motives taken from 
the word, and the things contained in it? But was there 
ever heard of such a monstrous expression, if there be no- 
thing else in it? What could the holy writers intend by 
calling such a work as this, by a quickening of them who 
were dead in trespasses and sins, through the mighty power 
of God, unless it were by a noise of insignificant words, to 
draw us off from a right understanding of what is intended? 
And it is well, if some are not of that mind. 

2. The work itself wrought, is our regeneration. I have 
proved before, that this consists in a new, spiritual, super- 
natural, vital principle, or habit of grace infused into the soul, 
the mind, will, and affections, by the power of the Holy 
Spirit, disposing and enabling them in whom it is, unto spi- 
ritual, supernatural, vital acts of faith and obedience. Some 
men seem to be inclined to deny all habits of grace. And 
on such a supposition, a man is no longer a believer than 
he is in the actual exercise of faith. For there is nothing 
in him from whence he should be so denominated. But 
this would plainly overthrow the covenant of God, and all 
the grace of it. Others expressly deny all gracious super- 
natural infused habits, though they may grant such as are, 
or may be, acquired by the frequent acts of those graces or 
virtues, whereof they are the habits. But the Scripture 
giveth us another description of this work of regeneration, 
for it consists in the renovation of the image of God in us; 
Eph. iv. 23, 24. ' Be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and 
put on that new man, which after God is created in righte- 
ousness and true holiness.' That Adam in innocency had a 
supernatural ability of living unto God, habitually residing 
in him, is generally acknowledged. And although it were 
easy for us to prove, that whereas he was made for a super- 
natural end, namely, to live to God, and to come to the en- 
joyment of him, it was utterly impossible that he should 
answer it or comply with it, by the mere strength of his na- 
tural faculties, had they not been endued with a super- 
natural ability, which, with respect unto that end, was created 
with them, and in them. Yet, we will not contend about 
terms. Let it be granted, that he was created in the image 
of God, and that he had an ability to fulfil all God's com- 
mands, and that in himself, and no more shall be desired. 


This was lost by the fall. When this is by any denied, it 
shall be proved. In our regeneration, there is a renovation 
of this image of God in us. ' Renewed in the spirit of our 
minds.' And it is renewed in us by a creating act of al- 
mighty power, ' which after God,' or according to his likeness, 
' is created in righteousness and true holiness.' There is, 
therefore, in it an implantation of a new principle of spiri- 
tual life, of a life unto God in repentance, faith, and obedi- 
ence, or universal holiness, according to gospel truth, or the 
truth which came by Jesus Christ; John i. 18. And the 
effect of this work is called spirit ; John viii. 5. ' That which 
is born of the Spirit, is spirit.' It is the Spirit of God, of 
whom we are born; that is, our new life is wrought in us by 
his efficiency. And that, which in us is so born of him, is 
spirit ; not the natural faculties of our souls, they are once 
created, once born, and no more ; but a new principle of spi- 
ritual obedience, whereby we live unto God. And this is 
the product of the internal immediate efficiency of grace. 

This will the better appear if we consider the faculties of 
the soul distinctly, and what is the especial work of the Holy 
Spirit upon them in our regeneration or conversion to God. 

1. The leading conducting faculty of the soul is the mind 
or understanding. Now this is corrupted and vitiated by the 
fall, and how it continues depraved in the state of nature, 
hath been declared before. The sum is, that it is not able to 
discern spiritual things in a spiritual manner, for it is pos- 
sessed with spiritual blindness or darkness, and is filled with 
enmity against God and his law, esteeming the things of the 
gospel to be foolishness, because it is alienated from the life 
of God through the ignorance that is in it : we must there- 
fore inquire what is the work of the Holy Spirit on our minds 
in turning of us to God, whereby this depravation is removed, 
and this vicious state cured ; whereby we come to see and 
discern spiritual things in a spiritual manner; that we may 
savingly know God and his mind as revealed in and by Jesus 
Christ. And this is several ways declared in the Scripture. 

(1.) He is said to give us an understanding ; 1 John v. 
20. ' The Son of God is come, and hath given us an under- 
standing that we may know him that is true ;' which he doth 
by his Spirit. Man by sin is become like the, 'beasts that 
perish which have no understanding;' Psal. xlix. 12.20. 
vol. ii. 2 c 


Men have not lost their natural intellective faculty or reason 
absolutely ; it is continued unto them with the free though 
impaired use of it, in things natural and civil. And it hath 
an advance in sin. Men are wise to do evil z . But it is lost 
as to the especial use of it in the saving knowledge of God 
and his will; to * do good they have no knowledge;' Jer. iv. 22. 
For naturally, 'there is none that understandeth, that seeketh 
after God;' Rom. iii. 17. It is corrupted not so much in the 
root and principle of its actings, as with respect unto their 
proper object, term, and end. Wherefore, although this 
giving of an understanding, be not the creating in us anew 
of that natural faculty ; yet it is that gracious work in it, 
without which that faculty in us as depraved, will no more 
enable us to know God savingly, than if we had none at all. 
The grace, therefore, here asserted in the giving of an under- 
standing, is the causing of our natural understandings to un- 
derstand savingly. This David prays for, Psal. cxix. 34. 
' Give me understanding and I shall keep thy law.' The 
whole work is expressed by the apostle, Ephes. i. 16 — 18. 
' That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, 
may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in 
the knowledge of him, the eyes of your understanding being 
opened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, 
&c.' That the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, is the Spirit 
of God working those effects in us, we have before evinced. 
And it is plain, that the revelation here intended is subjec- 
tive, in the enabling us to apprehend what is revealed, and 
not objective in new revelations which the apostle prayed not 
that they might receive. And this is farther evidenced by 
the ensuing description of it, ' the eyes of your understanding 
being opened.' There is an eye in the understanding of man, 
that is, the natural power and ability that is in it, to discern 
spiritual things. But this eye is sometimes said to be blind, 
sometimes to be darkness, sometimes to be shut or closed. 
And nothing but the impotency of our minds to know God 
savingly, or discern things spiritually when proposed unto 
us, can be intended thereby. It is the work of the Spirit of 
grace to open this eye a ; Luke iv. 18. Acts xxvi. 18. And this 

z Prorsussi Dei adjutorium defuerit, nihil boni agere poterisj agis quidem illo non 
adjuvante libera voluntate, sed male; ad hoc idonea est voluntas tua qua? vocatur li- 
bera, et male agendo fit damnabilis anciila. August. Serm. 13. de Verb. Apostol. 

* Erat lux vera qua? illuminat omnem hominera venientera in hunc raundum ; quod 


is the powerful effectual removal of that depravation of our 
minds with all its effects, which we before described. And 
how are we made partakers thereof? It is of the gift of God, 
freely and effectually working of it. For, (1.) he ' gives us 
the Spirit of wisdom and revelation' to that end. And, (2.) 
works the thing itself in us. He gives * us a heart to know 
him/ Jer. xxiv. 7. without which we cannot so do, or he 
would not himself undertake to work it in us for that end. 
There is, therefore, an effectual, powerful, creating act of the 
Holy Spirit put forth in the minds of men in their conversion 
unto God, enabling them spiritually to discern spiritual 
things ; wherein the seed and substance of divine faith is 

(2.) This is called the ' renovation of our minds ; renewed 
in the spirit of our minds ;' Eph. iv. 23. which is the same 
with being renewed in knowledge ; Col. iii. 10. And this re- 
novation of our minds, hath in it a transforming power, 
to chancre the whole soul into an obediential frame towards 
God; Rom. xii. 2. And the work of renewing our minds is 
peculiarly ascribed unto the Holy Spirit. Tit. iii. 5. ' The 
renewing of the Holy Ghost.' Some men seem to fancy, 
yea, do declare, that there is no such depravation in or of 
the mind of man, but that he is able by the use of his reason, 
to apprehend, receive, and discern those truths of the gospel 
which are objectively proposed unto it. But of the use of 
reason in these matters, and its ability to discern and judge 
of the sense of propositions, and force of inferences in 
things of religion, we shall treat afterward. At present I 
only inquire whether men unregenerate be of themselves able 
spiritually to discern spiritual things, when they are pro- 
posed unto them in the dispensation of the gospel, so as their 
knowledge may be saving in and unto themselves, and accep- 
table unto God in Christ, and that without any especial, in- 
ternal, effectual work of the Holy Spirit or grace in them and 
upon them ? if they say they are, as they plainly plead them 

ideo diclura est, quia nullus honiinum illuruinatur, nisi illo luraine veritatis quod 
Deus est, ne quisquam putaret ab eo se illuruinari a quo aliquid audit ut discat; non 
dico si quenquam magnum hominem sed nee si angelum ei contingat habere docto- 
tem. Adhibetur enim sermo veritatis extrinsecus vocis niinisterio corporali ; verum- 
tamen neque qui plantat est aliquid, nequequi rigat ; sed qui incrementuin datDeus. 
Audit quippe homo dicentem vel hominem vel angelum, sed ut sentiat et cognoscat 
verura esse quod dicitur, illo lumine intus meus aspergitur quod asternum manet, 
quod etiam in tenebris lucet. August, de Peccator. Merit, et Remiss, lib. 1. cap. 25. 

2 c 2 


to be, and will not content themselves with an ascription 
unto them of that notional doctrinal knowledge, which none 
deny them to be capable of, I desire to know, to what pur- 
pose are they said to be ' renewed by the Holy Ghost ;' to 
what purpose are all those gracious actings of God in them 
before recounted? He that shall consider what, on the one 
hand, the Scripture teacheth us concerning the blindness, 
darkness, impotency of our minds, with respect unto spiritual 
things when proposed unto us, as in the state of nature; and 
on the other, what it affirms concerning the work of the Holy 
Ghost in their renovation and change, in giving them