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Full text of "The works of John Owen"

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"take heed unto thyself, and unto the 


1 Timothy, i v. 16. 


The system of truth, of which Dr. Owen is the able 
advocate, rests upon the triple foundation of Holy Scrip- 
ture, sound reason, and Christian experience. The Sacred 
writings used to establish it are fully and consistently 
interpreted ; the reason employed is not carnal, but the 
effort of that sound mind, (rou voog xp^ardv,) which is the 
gift of the Holy Spirit ; while the experience, to which 
appeal is made, is remote from fanaticism. In all ages 
that system has had its opponents, and the conflict of 
opinion lias filled the Church with clamor and confusion. 
Yet after each contest, however brief or prolonged, the 
cause of God and truth has emerged with decided advan- 
tage, and appeared the stronger for the exercise in 
grappling with error. Human arrangements and views 
of that truth have been changed, and adjustments have 
been made, to suit the progress of the mind. But the 
truth itself is unchanged, and still commends itself to 
the spiritual mind and sound understanding with Divine 
efficiency. The word of the Lord endureth forever;" 
and " thy word is tried to the uttermost, therefore thy 
servant loveth it." 

In this age controversies relating chiefly to the Church 
and its appointments are vigorously pursued. Numerous 
works issue from the press, which are characterized by 
ability and fairness, and there is no want of interest in 
those topics manifested by the Christian public. The 
writings of Dr. Owen contain much which has a direct 
bearing upon those controversies. His matter is weighty 
and his arguments are the best which can be collected 
for his view of Church polity. 

The reasons which have induced the republication of 
this series of Dr. Owen's works do not require that his 
treatises and labors on those topics should be included. 



It is judged that enough is accessible to all students and 
general readers, and that the members of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church are supplied with ecclesiastical literature 
relating to all pending questions. We desire to allay 
rather than to provoke and increase a controversial spirit, 
and to call attention to the fundamental and practical 
truths of our holy faith. It is feared, and with reason, 
tliat the Church will lose sight of those great Gospel doc- 
trines, and will not be inclined to study them or to hold 
them fast. 

It is also desirable to introduce topics which will furnish 
variety, and afford completeness to the series. Hence 
the Ninth Volume is a collection of miscellaneous treatises 
and discourses embodying Scriptural interpretation, me- 
thodical defense, and devotional application of Divine 
truth. In this volume will be found some of Dr. Owen's 
earliest and latest efforts, and throughout, the usual evi- 
dences of his energy, warmth, and love for the souls of 
men appear. The work on the plenary inspiration of 
the Holy Scriptures is regarded as timely, and promises 
to do good service in the struggle with rationalism and 
skepticism in which the Church is now engaged. 

The Sacramental Discourses will be attractive to the 
pious soul, desirous of close communion with Jesus. 
Whatever his theoretical views of the nature and use of 
the Lord's Supper may be, he will find refreshment and 
delight in the effusions and directions of one who had 
such rich and varied experience of the manifold grace 
of God, of which the holy ordinance is the means. 
The matured and experienced pastor as well as the 
young servant of the Most High God, who makes known 
the way of salvation, will find valuable aid and direction 
in solving the difficulties, allaying the fears, and repress- 
ing the presumption of communicants. 

The whole work is humbly commended to the grace 
of God, for whose glory its issue is undertaken, and 
placed in the hands of the Church of God, for whose 
comfort and support in this wilderness state it is intended. 

C. W. Q. 

Philadelphia, June, 1865. 

This edition of tile Works of Owen will consist of seventeen 
volumes. The first seven volumes will be the same as the cor- 
responding volumes of the London and the Edinburgh edition 
of the Eev. W. H. Goold, D.D., 1850. The eighth will be 
identical with the eleventh volume of that edition. The ninth 
volume will be compiled from the ninth, tenth, and sixteenth 
volumes of the same edition. Yolumes tenth to the sixteenth 
will contain Owen's exposition of the Epistle of St. Paul to the 
Hebrews, according to the edition of Dr. Goold. Volume seven- 
teen will contain an index to the whole series taken from Pr. 
Goold's index as far as applicable, and embracing references to 
the matter contained in the Exposition of the Epistle to the 


Vol I. Life of Dr. Owen, by Rev. Dr. Andrew Thomson. 

1. On the Person of Christ. 

2. Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ. 

3. Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ applied to Sinners 

and Saints. 

4. Two Short Catechisms. 

" II. 1. On Communion with God. 

2. Vindication of the Preceding Discourse. 

3. Vindication of the Doctrine of the Trinity. 

" III. Discourse on the Holy Spirit: His Name, Nature, Personality, Dispen- 
sation, Operations, and EflFects — His Work in the Old an(\ New 
Creation explained, and the Doctrines Vindicated. The Nature and 
Necessity of Gospel Holiness ; the diflference between Grace and 
Morality, or a Spiritual Life unto God in Evangelical Obedience, and 
a course of Moral Virtues, stated and declared. 

" IV.- 1. The Reason of Faith. 

2. Causes, Ways, and Means, of understanding the Mind of God, as 

revealed in His Word, with assurance therein. And a declaration 
of the perspicuity of the Scriptures, with the external means of 
the interpretation of them. 

3. On the Work of the Holy Spirit, in Prayer ; with a brief inquiry 

into the nature and use of Mental Prayer and Forms. 

4. Of the Holy Spirit and His Work, as a Comforter and as the Author 

of Spiritual Gifts. 
" V. 1. The doctrine of Justification by Faith. 
2. Evidences of the Faith of God's Elect. 



Vol. VT. 1. On the Mortification of Sin. 

2. On Temptation. 

3. On Indwelling Sin in Believers. 

4. Exposition of Psalm CXXX. 

' ' VII. 1. On the Nature and Causes of Apostasy, and the Punishment of 

2. On Spiritual Mindedness. 

3. On the dominion of Sin and Grace. 

" VIII. The Doctrine of the Saint's Perseverance explained and confirmed. 
" IX. Miscellaneous Works, Treatises, and Sermons. 

• 1. The Divine Original and Plenary Inspiration of the Scriptures. 

2. On the Death of Christ 

3. Posthumous and Sacramental Discourses 

" X. Esercitations on the Epistle to the Hebrews. 

1. Concerning the Epistle itself. 

2. Concerning the Messiah. 

3. Concerning the Institutions of the Jewish Church referred to in 

the Epistle. 
" XI. Exercitations continued. 

1. Concerning the Sacramental Office of Christ. 

2. Concerning a Day of Sacred Rest. 

3. Summary of Observations, drawn from the Exposition of the 


' ' XTI.— XVI. An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews. 
' XVII. An Index to the whole Series. 




Prefatory Note by the Editor, ...... 2 

To the Readers, ........ 5 


I.—Geveral Peinciples concerning the Holy Spirit and His Work.— 
1 Cor xii. 1 opened — nnuf^anxa, 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 enabled by the Spirit to call Jesus 
" Lord " — The Holy Spirit the author of all gifts — Why called " God" and 
" Lord " — General distribution of spiritual gifts — Proper end of their 
communication— Nine sorts of gifts — Abuse of them in the church — 
Tlieir tendency unto peace and order — General design of the ensuing dis- 
course concerning the Spii-it and his dispensation— Importance of the 
doctrine concerning the Spirit of God and his operations — Reasons here- 
of—Promise of the Spirit to supply the absence of Christ, as to his hu- 
man nature— Concernment thereof — Work of the Spirit in the ministra- 
tion of the gospel— All saving good communicated unto us and wrought 
in us by him — Sin against th£ Holy Ghost irremissible — False pretences 
unto the Spirit dangerous— Pretences unto the Spirit of prophecy under 
the Old Testament — Two sorts of false prophets : tue 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 Testaments 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 — Princi- 
ples and occasions of the apostasy 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 con- 
cerning the Spirit of God and his work, . . . .16 

II.— The Name and Titles of the Holy Spirit.— Of the name of the Holy 
Spirit— Various uses of the words tili and miuf^a — riin for the wind or 
any thing invisible with a sensible agitation. Amos iv. 13— Mistakes of 
the ancients rectified by Hierom — oii metaphorically for vanity, meto- 
nymically for the part or quarter of any thing; for our vital breath, the 
rational soul, the aii'ections, angels good and bad — Ambiguity 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," tlie "Spirit of the Son"— Acts ii. 33, 1 Pet. i. 10, 11, 
explained— 1 John iv. 3, vindicated, . ... 47 

in. — Divine Nature and Personality of the Holy Spirit Proved and Vin- 
dicated. — Ends of our consideration of the dispensation of the Spirit--^. 
Principles pi'emised thereunto — The nature of God the foundation of all 
religion — Divine revelation gives the rule and measure of religious wor. 


Chap, P^oh 

ebip— God hath revealed himself as three in one— Distinct actings and 
oporatii ins ascribed vmto these distinct persons ; tlierefore 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 pre- 
tences—Matt, xxviii. 19, pleaded- Appearance of the Spirit under the 
shape of a dove explained and improved— His appearance as fire opened 
— 11 is personal subsistence proved— Personal properties assigned unto 
him— Understanding— Argument from hence pleaded and vindicated— 
A wili — John iii. 8, James iii. 4, cleared— Exceptions removed — Power — 
Otlier personal ascriptions to him, with testimonies of them, vindicated 
and explained, ........ 64 

IV. — Peculiar Woeks or tfik Holt Spirit in the First or Old Creation. — 
Tilings to be observed in divine operations— The works of God, how as- 
cribed absolutely unto God, and how distinctly to each person— The rea- 
son hereof— Perfecting acts in divine works ascribed unto the Holy 
Spirit, and why— Peculiar woi-ks 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, Ps. civ. 30 
— The creation of man; the work of the Spirit therein— Tlie 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 deliveied, . 92 

V. — Way and Manner of the Divine Dispensation or the Holy Spirit. — * 
Dispensation of the Spirit to be learned from the Scripture only — Gene- 
ral adjuncts thereof — The administration of the Spirit and bis own ap- 
plication 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 advaaitage in receiving 
the Spirit — How God is said to send the Spirit — What is included in 
Bending— How (xod 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 tlie 
Spirit's application of himself unto his •woY\^—i\\sproceeding from Father 
and Son explained— How he cometh unto us — Kis falling on men— His 
resting — How and in what sense he is said to depart from any person — 
Of the distributions of the Holy Ghost, Heb. ii. 4 — Exposition of them 
yindicated, . . . . . . . .105 


L — Peculiar Operations of the Holy Spirit under the Old Testa jifat 
PiiEPARATORY FOR TJiE New.— The work of the Spirit of God in the new 
creation ; by some despised— Works under the Old Testament prepara- 
tory 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 pro- 
phecy—The 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 pro- 
phecy, or distinct ways of its communication — Of articulate voices- 
Dreams — Visions— Accidental adjuncts of prophecy — Symbolical actions 
— Local mutations — Whether unsanctified pcnsons might have the gift 
of prophecy— 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 intel- 
lectual and artificial— In preaching of the word, . . .125 

n. — General Dispensation of the Holy Spirit with respect unto the New 
Creation. —The work of the Spirit of God in the new creation proposed 
to consideration— Tiie 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 on tlie promise of the Spirit 
— How this pronuse is made unto all believers— Injunction to all to pray 
for the Spirit of God— The solemn promise of Christ to send his Spirit 
yrhenhe left the world— The ends for which he promised him— The work 
of the now creation the principal means of the revelation of God and his 
glory— How this revelation is made in particular heiein, . . 152 


Chap. Vaqu 

III. — Work OF the Holt Spirit with respect unto the Head of the New 
Creation— The Human Nature of Christ — The especial works ot the 
Holy JSpirit 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 union, the onlj' 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 Son of the Holy Ghost ac- 
cording to the human nature — Difference between the assumption of the 
human nature by the Son and the creation of it by the Holy Gh« st — 'J'lie 
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 conception of Christ— The actual purity and holiness of the 
soul and body of Christ, from his miraculous conception, . . 159 

IV. — Work of the Holy Spirit in and on the Human Nature of Christ. — 
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 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 Spii-it 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. 12 opened — How the 
Lord Christ ofl'ered 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, .... 168 

v.— The General Work of the Holt Spirit in the New Creation with re- 
spect unto the Members of that Body whereof Christ is the Head. 
— 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, and its building by him alone — Christ present with his 
church only by his Spirit— Matt, xxviii. 19, 20 ; Acts i. 9, 10, iii. 21 ; 
Matt xviii. 19, 20; 2 Cor. vi. 16; 1 Cor. 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 towai'ds the church, . . . . . .188 


L — Work of the Holt Spirit in the New Creation bt Regeneration — 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 nut 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 depra- 
vation of nature the cause of many noxious opinions — Regeneration con- 
sisteth not in enthusiastic raptures ; their nature and danger — The whole 
doctrine necessary, despised, corrupted, vindicated, ... 307 


euAP. paoi 

lL_\Vo^K9 OF THE IIoLT SpiitiT Preparatort cnto Rfgfneration.— Sundrj 
tilings preparatoiy to the work of conversion — Material and formal dis- 
p silions, \vitli their difiference— Things in the power of our natural abi- ■ 
lilies requii-ed of us in a way of duty— Internal, spiritual eifects wrought 

ill the souls of men hy the word — Illumination — Conviction of sin — Con- 

' " stquents thei-eof— Tiiese things variously taught— Power of the word 
and energy of the Spirit distinct— Subject of this work ; mind, affections, 
and conscience— Natui'e of this whole work, and difierence from saving 
conversion farther declared, ...... 223 

III. — CoR'^nPTioN OR Depravation of the Mind bt Sin. — Contempt and cor- 
ruption of the doctrine of regeneration— All men in the world I'egenerate 
or unregenerate— (Jer.eral description of corrupted na*ure— Depravation 
Qi tlie mind— Darkness upon it — The nature of spiritual darkness— Re- 
duced unto two heads— Of darkness objective; how removed — Of dark- 
ness subjective; its nature and power proved— Eph. iv. 17, 18, opened 
and applied— The mind " alienated from the life of God" — The '' life of 
Cod," what it is— The power of the mind with respect unto spiritual 
tilings examined — 1 Cor. ii. 14 opened— Yux'«of ktSpamts, or the "natural 
man,' who— Spiritual things, what they are- -How the natural man can- 
not know or receive spiritual things— Difference between understanding 
doctrines and receiving of things— A twofold power and ability of mind 
witii respect unto spiritual things explained — Reasons why a natu- 
ral man cannot discern spiritual things — How and wherefore spiritual 
tilings are foolishness to natural men — Why natural men cannot re- 
ceive the things of Cod — A double impotency in the mind of man bj 
nature— 1 Cor. ii. 14 farther vindicated— Power of darkness in persons 
ui rej;enerate — The mind filled with wills or lusts, and enmity thereby 
—The power and efficacy of spiritual darkness at large declared, . 242 

IV". — LirR AND Death, Natural and Spiritual, Compared. — Of death in sin — 
All unregenerate men spiritually dead— Spiritual death twofold: legal; 
metaph. rical — Life natural, what it is, and wherein it consists — Death 
natural, with its necessary consequents— The supernatural life of Adam 
ill iniiocency, in its principle, acts, and power — Differences 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 prin- 
ciple of all life to Cod — Spiritual impotency therein — Differences be- 
tween death natural and spiritual — The use of precepts, jiromises, and 
tlireatenings— No man perisheth merely for want of power — No vital 
acts in a state of death— The way of the communication of spiritual life 
— Of what nature are the best works of persons unregenerate —No dispo- 
sition unto spiritual life under the power of spiritual death, . . 282 

V. — The Nature, Causes, and Means of Regeneration.— 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 re;;eneratiou 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 doc- 
trine of grace— The present method proposed— Conversion not wrought 
by moral suasion only— The nature and efficacy of moral suasion, wherein 
tliey consist — Illumination preparatory unto conversion— The nature of 
grace morally effective only, opened; not sufficient for conversion— The 
first argument, disproving the working of grace in conversion to be by 
moral suasion only— The second— The third— 'I'he fourth— Wherein the 
■wcrk^of the Spirit in regeneration positively doth consist — The use and 
?rnal efficiency of the Spirit in this work 
Ag. — The nature of it explained; proved 
. „ by grace on our wills farther explained 

— iestinioiiies 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 vivitication 
and regeneration— Regeneration considered with respect unto the dis- 
tinct faculties of the soul ; the mind ; the will ; the affections, . 297 

VI.— The Manner of Conversion Explained in the Instance of Augustine. 

— J he outward means and manner of conversion to God, or regeneration, 
with the degrees of spiritual operations on the minds of men and their 
cllects, exemplified in the conversion of Augustine, as the account is given 
thereof by himself, ........ 337 


Chap. P^gb 


L — The Nattjke of Sanctiftcation and Gospel Holiness Explained. — Re- 
generation the way -whereby the Spii it forms living members for the 
mystical body of Christ— Carried on by sauctification— 1 Thess. v. 23 
opened— God the only author of our sanctification and holiness, and tliat 
as the God of peace— Sanctification described— A diligent inquiry into 
the nature whereof, witli that of lioliness, proved necessary— bonctifica- 
tion twofold: 1. By external dedication; 2. By internal puritication— 
Holiness peculiar to the gospel and its truth— Not discernible to the eye 
of carnal rea.son— Hardly understood by believers themselves— It passefli 
over into eternity— Hath in it a present glory— Is all that God requireth 
of us, and in what sense —Promised unto us— How we are to improve the 
command for holiness, ....... 366 

II. — Sanctification a Progressive Work. — Sanctification described, with the 
nature of the work of the Holy Spirit therein; which is progressive — 
The way and means whei'eby 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 discerned in ti.e 
answerableness of the work of the Spirit in sanctification and supplica- 
tion—Objections against the progressive nature of holiness removed, 386 

III. — Believers the only Object of Sanctification, and Subjkct of Gospel 
Holiness. — Believers tlie only subject of the work of sanctification— 
How men come to believe, if believers alone receive the Spirit of sancti- 
fication — The principal ends for which the Spirit is promised, with their 
order in their accomplishment --Rules to be observed in praying for the 
Spirit of God, and his operations therein— That believers only are sanc- 
tified or holy proved and confirmed— Mistakes about holiness, _ both 
notional and practical, discovered— The proper subject of holiness in be- 
lievers, ......... iC 

IV. — The Defilement of Sin, wherein it Consists, with its Purification. — 
Purification the first proper notion of sanctification — Institution of ba]v 
tism confirming the same apprehension — A spiritnial defilement and pol- 
lution in sin- The nature of that defilement, or wherein it doth consist 
— Depi'avation of nature and acts with respect unto God's holiness, how 
and why called "tilth" and "pollution" — Twofold pravity and defile- 
ment 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, 42" 
V. — The Filth of Sin purged by the Spirit and Blood of Christ. — Purifi- 
cation of the filth of sin the first part of sanctification— How it is effect- 
ed — The work of the Spirit therein — Efficacy of the blood of Christ to 
that pui-pose — The blood of his sacrifice intended — How that blood cleans- 
eth from sin — Application unto it, and application of it by the Spirit — 
Wherein that application 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 — Consideratir ns of the pol- 
lution and purification of sin practically improved — Various directions 
for a due application unto the blood of Christ for cleansing — Sundry de- 
grees of shamelessness in sinning — Directions for the cleansing of sin 
continued — Thankfulness for the cleansing of sin, with other uses of the 
same consideration — Union with Christ, how consistent with the re- 
mainders of sin — From all that, differences between evangelical holiness 
and the old natiu-e asserted, ...... 43** 

VI. — ^The Positive Work of the Spirit in the Sanctification of Believers. 
— Differences in the acts of sanctification as to oi'der — The manner of 
the communication of holiness by the Spirit — The rule and measure 
whereof is the revealed will of God, as the rule of its acceptance is the 
covenant of grace — The nature of holiness as inwaid — Righteousness 
habitual and actual — False notions of holiness removed — The nature of 
a spiritual habit— Applied unto holiness, with its rules and limitations 
—Proved and confirmed — Illustrated and practically improved — The pro- 
perties of holiness as a spiritual habit declared— 1. Spiritual dispositions 
unto suitable acts ; how expressed in the Scripture; with their eftects 
— Contrary dispositions unto sin and holiness how consistent — 2. Power ; 
the nature thereof ; or what power is required in believers unto holy 
obedience ; with its properties and effects in readiness and facility — 
Objections thereunto answered, and an inquiry on these principles after 
true holiness in ourselves directed — Gospel grace distinct from moralitv, 
and all other habits of the mind; proved by many arguinentB, especially 


CoAP. Paqb 

its relation unto the mciliation of Christ— The principal difference be- 
tween evan.Ecelioal lioliness and all other habits of the mind, proved by 
the nianuer and way of its communication from the person of Christ as 
the head of the church, and the peculiar efficiency of the Spirit therein- 
— Moral honesty not gospel holiness, ..... 463 

■ VII.— Ok Tin; Acts and Duties of Holiness.— Actual inherent righteousness in 
duties of holiness and obedience explained— Tlie work of the Holy .Spirit 
with respect thereunto — Distribution of the positive duties of holiness 
—Internal duties of holiness— External duties and their difference — 
Eifectual operation of the Holy Spirit necessary unto every act of holi- 
ness—Dependence on providence with respect unto things natui-al, and 
on grace with respect unto things supernatural, compared — Arguments 
to pi-ove the necessity of actual grace unto every duty of holiness— 
Contrary designs and expressions of the Scripture and some men about 
duties of holiness, ........ 527 

VIII. — Mortification of Sin, the Nature and Causes of it. — Mortification of 
sin, the second part of sanctification— Frequently prescribed and enjoin- 
ed as a duty— What the name signifies, with the reason thereof ; as also 
that of crucifying sin— The nature of tlie mortification of sin explained 
— Indwelling sin, in its principle, operations, and efi'ects, the object of 
mortification- Contrariety between sin and grace- Mortification a par- 
taking with the whole interes-t of grace against sin— How sin is morti- 
fied, and why the subduing of it is so called— Directions for the right dis- 
charge of this duty — Nature of it unknown to many — The Holy Spirit 
the author and cause of mortification in us — The manner of the opera- 
tion of the Spirit in the moi'tification of sin — Particular means of the 
mortification of sin— Duties necessary unto the mortification of sin, di- 
rected unto by the Holy Ghost— Mistakes and errors of persons failing 
in this matter— How spiritual duties are to be managed, that sin may be 
moi tified — Influence of the virtue of the death of Cluist, as applied by 
the Holy Spirit, into the mortification of sin, .... 538 


I. — Necessity of Holiness erom the Consideration of the Nature of God. 
— The necessity of evangelical holiness owned by all Christians— Doctrines 
falsely charged with an inconsistency with it— Though owned by all, yet 
practised by few, and disadvantageously pleaded for by many— The true 
nature of it briefly expressed— First argument for the necessity of holi- 
ness, from the nature of God; frequently proposed unto our considera- 
tionfor that end — This argument cogent and unavoidable ; pressed, with 
its limitation — Not the nature of God absolutely, but as he is in Christ, 
the foundation of this necessity, and a most effectual motive unto the same 
end— The nature and efficacy of that motive declared — The argument 
enforced from the consideration of our conformity unto God by holiness, 
■with that communion and intercourse with him which depend thereon, 
with our future everlasting enjoyment of him— True force of that consi- 
deration vindicated— Merit rejected, and also the substitution of mora- 
lity in the room of gospel holiness— False accusations of the doctrine of 
grace discarded ; and the neglect of the true means of promoting gospel 
obedience charged— The principal argument farther enforced, from the 
pre-eminence of our natures and persons by this conformity to God, and 
our accesses unto God thereby, in order unto our eternal enjoyment of 
Lim ; as it also alone renders us useful in this world unto others— Two 
sorts of graces by whose exei'cise we grow into conformity with God: 
those tlmt are assimilating, as faith and love ; and those which are de- 
clarative of that assimilation, as goodness or benignity, and truth— An 
objection against the necessity of holiness, from the freedom and efficacy 
of grace, answered, ....... 566 

IT.- Eternal Elkction a Cause of and Motive unto Holiness.— Other argu- 
ments for the necessity of holiness, from God's eternal election— The 
argument from thence explained, improved, vindicated, . . 591 

III.— IIomness NrcKSSAUT FROM TiiF, COMMANDS OF GoD,— Ncccssity of hoUness 

proved from the commands of God in the law and the gospel, . '. 604 

IV.— NiccESSiTT OF Holiness from God's sending Jesus Christ.- The neces- 
sity of holiness pi-oved from the design of God in sending Jesus Clu'ist, 
with the ends of his mediation, ...... 623 

v.— Necessity of Holiness from our Condition in this World.— Necessity 
of holiness farther argued from our own state and condition in this 
world ; with what is required of us with respect unto our giving glory to 
Jesus Chi-ist, . . . . . . . ., 641 










Search tlie Scriptures, etc — John v. 39. 

LONDON: 1674. 



The year 1674 saw issuing from the press some of the most elaborate productions of 
our author. Besides his own share in the Communion controversy, he published in the 
course of that year the second volume of his Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
and another folio of equal extent and importance, the first part of his work on the 
Holy Spirit ; for what is generally known under the title of " Owen on the Holy Spirit," 
is but the first half of a treatise on that subject. The treatise was completed in suc- 
cessive publications: — "The Keason of Faith," in 1677; "The Causes, Ways, and 
Means of Understanding the Mind of God," etc., in 1678 ; " The Work of the Holy Spirit 
in Prayer," in 1682; and, in 1693, two posthumous discourses appeared, "On the 
Work of the Spirit as a Comforter, and as he is the Author of Spiritual Gifts." From 
the statements of Owen himself, in various parts of these works, as well as on the 
authority of Nathaniel Mather, who wrote the preface to the last of them, we learn 
that they were all included in one design, and must be regarded as one entire and uni- 
form work. In Owen's preface to the " Reason of Faith," he expressly states, " About 
three years since I published a book about the dispensation and operations of the Spirit 
of God. That book was one part only of what I designed oh that subject. The 
consideration of the work of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of illumination, of suppli- 
cition, of consolation, and as the immediate author of all spiritual offices and gifts, 
extraordinary and ordinary, is designed unto the second part of it." Uncertain, as he 
advanced in years, whether he should be spared to finish it, Owen was induced to issue 
ssparately the treatises belonging to the second part, according as he was able, under 
the pressure of other duties, to overtake the preparation and completion of them. 
They are now for the first time collected, and arranged into the order which, it is be- 
lieved, the author would have made them assume, had he lived to publish an edition 
comprehending all his treatises on the Holy Spirit in the form and under the title of 
one work. No other liberty, however, is taken with the treatises than simply to number 
the four of them which were published separately, and which are contained in the 
next volume, as so many additional books, continuing and completing the discussion of 
the subject which had been begun and so far prosecuted in the five previous books em- 
braced in this volume. To all of them the general designation nNETMATOAOriA is 
equally applicable. Thus arranged and seen in its full proportions, the work amply 
vindicates the commendation bestowed on it, as the most complete exhibition of the 
doctrine of Scripture on the person and agency of the Spirit " to be found in any 
language." As no author had previously attempted to treat " of the whole economy 
of the Holy Spirit, with all his adjuncts, operations, and effects," Owen urges the 
circumstance in extenuation of any want of system and lucid order in his work. If 
f-uch an attempt had never previously been made, it is equally true that no successor 
h 13 been found in this walk of theology who has ventured to compete with Owen in the 
fill and systematic discussion of this great theme. Treatises of eminent ability and 
value have appeared on separate departments of it ; but in the wide range embraced in 
this work of Owen, as well as in the power, depth, and resources conspicuous in every 
chapter, it is not merely first, but single and alone in all our religious literature. 

The work, as we may gather from various allusions in it, was written in opposition 
to the rationalism of the early Socinians, especially as represented by Crellius ; to 
the mysticism of the Quakers, a sect which had grown into notoriety within thirty 
years before the publication of this work; and to the irreligion of a time when the de- 
rision of all true piety was the passport to royal favour. That, during the religious 
fervours of the commonwealth, fanaticism of various kinds should appear, is no more 
strange than that when genuine coin is in circulation, attempts should be made to utter 
what is counterfeit and base. Against such fanaticism it was natural that a reaction 
should ensue, and certain divines pandered to the blind prejudice of the times succeed- 
ing the Restoration, by sarcastic invective against all that was evangelical in the creed 
of the Puritans and vital in personal godliness. Samuel Parker, in his infamous sub- 
serviency to the malice of the Court against dissent, and even against the common 
interests of Protestantism, distinguished himself in this assault upon the doctrines of 
grace and the distinctive principles of the Christian faith. Owen accordingly adminis- 
ters to him a rebuke in terms as severe as the calm dignity of his temper ever allowed 
him to employ in controversy; but the prominent aim in his whole work is to dis- 
criminate the gracious operations of the Spirit in the hearts of believers from the ex- 


cesses of fanaticism on the one hand, whether as it appeared in the ruder sects of the age, 
or in the more genial mysticism of the Quaker, elevating his subjective experience of a 
spiritual light to co-ordinate authority with the objective revelation of God in the word ; 
and, on the other hand, from the morality which, springing from no gracious principle, 
scarcely brooked an appeal to the only divine code for the regulation of human conduct. 

This comprehensive treatise abounds in more than Owen's usual prolixity; — a fea- 
ture of the work which may, perhaps, be explained by the consciousness under wliich 
the author seems always to labour that he is prosecuting an argument with opponents, 
rather than dealing with the conscience in a treatise on practical religion. He moves 
heavily, as if he were panoplied for conflict rather than girt for useful work. As he pro- 
ceeds, however, the interest deepens ; weighty questions receive clear elucidation ; prac- 
tical difficulties are judiciously resolved; and momentous distinctions, such as those be- 
tween gospel holiness and common morality, and between natural and moral inability, 
are skilfully given. Indeed, many points which he brings out with sufficient precision, 
when stripped of the wordiness which encumbers them, are found to be identical with 
certain modes in the presentation of divine truth which have been deemed the disco- 
veries and improvements of a later theology. No work of the author supplies better 
evidence of his pre-eminent skill in what may be termed spiritual ethics, — in tracing 
the effect of religious truth on the conscience, and the varied phases of human feeling 
as modified by divine grace and tested by the divine word; and his reasonings would 
have been reputed highly philosophical if they had not been so very scriptural. 

It is in reference to the following work that Cecil, an acute and rather severe judge 
of books and authors, has observed, " Owen stands at the head of his class of divines. 
His scholars will be more profound and enlarged, and better furnished, than those of 
most other writers. His work on the Spirit has been my treasure-house, and one of 
my very first-rate books." A good abridgment of it by the Rev. G. Burder has ap- 
peared in more than one edition. 

In 1C78, Dr Clagett, preacher to the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn, and one of 
his Majesty's chaplains in ordinary, in " A Discourse concerning the Operation of the 
Holy Spirit," etc., attempted " a confutation of some part of Dr Owen's work on that 
subject." Mr John Humfrey, in his " Peaceable Disquisitions," having animadverted 
on the spirit in which Clagett had dealt with Owen, Clagett published another volume, 
and promised a tiiird on the opinions of the Fathers respecting the points at issue. The 
manuscript of this last volume was lost in a fire which consumed the house of a friend 
with whom it had been lodged. Henry Stebbing published, in 1719, an abridgment of 
the first two volumes. The principles of the work are not evangelical ; a tone of cold 
pedantry pervades it ; and the author seems as much influenced by a desire to differ 
from Owen as to discover the truth in regard to the points on which they differed. 


The First Book of the treatise is devoted to considerations of a general and prelimi- 
nary nature. The promise of spiritual gifts contained in Scripture is examined ; and 
occasion is hence taken to illustrate the importance of sound views on the doctrine of the 
Spirit, from the place it holds in Scripture ; from the abuses practised under his name ; 
from certain pretences that were urged to inward light, inconsistent with the claims of 
the Spirit of God ; from many dangerous opinions which had become prevalent respect- 
ing his work and influence ; and from the opposition directly offered to the Spirit and 
his work in the world, chap. i. The name and titles of the Holy Spirit are next consid- 
ered, II. The evidence of his divine nature and personality follows, from the formula of 
our initiation into the covenant, Matt, xxviii. 19 ; from the visible sign of his personal ex- 
istence, Matt. iii. 16 ; from the personal properties ascribed to him; from the personal 
acts he perfoi'ms ; and from those acts towards him on the part of men which imply his 
persoaality. A short proof of his Godhead, from the divine names he receives, and the 
divine properties ascribed to him, is appended to the argument in illustration of his 
personality, iii. The work of the Spirit in the old creation, in reference to the hea- 
vens, to tlie earth, to man, and to the continued sustentation of the universe, is fully 
explained, iv. The dispensation of the Spirit is illustrated in reference to the Father 
as giving, sending him, etc., and in reference to his own voluntary and personal agency 
BS proceeding, coming, etc., v. 

In the Second Book, the peculiar operations of the Holy Spirit under the old testa- 
ment, and in preparation for the new, are considered, such as prophecy, inspiration, 


miracles, and other giftf?, t. The importance of the Holy Spirit in the new creation 
is proved by the fact that he is the subject of the great promise in sacred Scripture 
respecting new testament times, ii. His work in reference to Christ is unfolded under a 
twofold aspect, — 1. As it bore on himself, in framing his human nature, iii. ; sanctifying 
it in the instant of conception, filling it with the needful grace anointing it with ex- 
traordinary gifts, conveying to it miraculous powers, guiding, comforting, and support- 
ing Christ, enabling him to offer himself without spot unto God, pi'cserving his human 
nature in the state of the dead, raising it from the grave, and finally glorifying it ; and, 
2. As he secures, throughout successive ages, a sound and explicit testimony to the per- 
son and work of Christ, iv. General considerations are urged regarding the work of the 
Spirit in the new creation, as it relates to the mystical body of Christ, — all believers, v. 

The Third Book is occupied with the subject .of regeneration as the especial work 
of the Spirit ; it is shown not to consist in baptism merely, or external reformation, or 
enthusiastic raptures, i. The operations of the Spirit preparatory to regeneration are 
exhibited, such as illumination, conviction, etc., ii. Two important chapters of a digres- 
sive character follow, in which the condition of man by nature is stated, as spiritually 
blind and impotent, iii., and as spiritually dead, iv. The true nature of regeneration 
is next illustrated,— first negatively, under which head it is proved not to consist in 
any result of moral suasion, moral suasion being defined, and the extent of its efficacy 
being fixed. No change which it can effect can be viewed as tantamount to regenera- 
tion, because, — 1. It leaves the will undeterviined ; 2. Imparts no supenmtural strength; 
o. Is not all tue pray for when we pray for efficient grace ; 4. And doea not actually pro- 
duce regeneration or conversion. Regeneration is then considered positively, as imply- 
ing all the moral operation which means can effect, and not only a moral but a physical 
immediate operation of the Spirit, and the irresistibility of this internal efficiency on 
the minds of men. After explanations to the effect that the Holy Ghost in regene- 
ration acts according to our mental nature, does not act upon us by an influence 
such as inspiration, and offers no violence to the will, three arguments in support of 
this view of regeneration are given, — from the collation of faith by the power of God, 
from the victorious efficacy of internal grace as attested by Scripture, and from the 
nature of the work itself as described in various terms of Scripture, " quickening," 
" regeneration," etc., and also from the terms in which the effect of grace on the different 
faculties of the soul is represented, v. The manner of conversion is then explained 
in the instance of Augustine, the account by that eminent father of his own conversion 
being selected to illustrate both the outward means of conversion, and the various de- 
grees and effects of spiritual influence on the human mind, vi. 

The Fourth Book discusses the doctrine of sanctification, which is exhibited as the 
process completing what the act of regeneration has begun. A general view is then 
given of the nature of sanctification, as consisting, 1. In external dedication ; and, 2. In 
internal purification, i. Its progressive character is unfolded, ii. ; and that it is a 
gracious process, extending to believers only, is proved, in Sanctification, so far as it 
relates to the removal of spiritual defilement, is illustrated; and that man caiuiot purge 
liimself from his natural pravity is proved, iv. It is shown how the Sph-it and blood 
of Christ are effectual to the purgation of the heart and conscience, the Spirit effica- 
ciously, the blood of Christ meritoriously, faith as the instrumental cause, and afflic- 
tions as a subordinate instrumentality, v. The positive work of sanctification follows, 
embracing evidence of two propositions: 1. That the Spirit implants a supernatural 
liabit and principle enabling believers to obey the divine will, and differing from all na- 
tural habits, intellectual or moral; and, 2. That grace is requisite for every act of ac- 
ceptable obedience. Under the first proposition four things are considered, — the reality 
of the principle asserted ; its nature in inclining the will ; the power as well as the incli- 
nation it imparts; and, lastly, its specific difference from all other habits, vi. Under 
the second proposition the acts and duties of holiness are reviewed, and proof supplied 
of the necessity of grace for them, vii. The nature of the mortification of sin, as a 
special part of sanctification, is considered ; directions for this spiritual exercise are 
given ; particular means for the mortification of sin are specified ; and certain errors 
respecting this duty corrected, viii. 

The Fifth Book simply contains arguments for the necessity of holiness, — from the 
nature of God, i. ; from eternal election, ii. ; from the divine commands, in. ; from 
the mission of Christ, iv. ; and from our condition in this world, v. — Ed. 


An account in general of the nature and design of the ensuing discourse, with 
the reasons why it is made public 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 necessary 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 fallen, by any 
means whatever, under public contempt and scorn, there is an abatement of satis- 
faction in the consideration 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 divine reve- 
lation, so are they in their own nature divine and heavenly, — distant and remote 
from all things that the heart of man, in the mere exercise of its own reason 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 forfeiture of his reputation with many, as a person fanatical, 
estranged from the conduct of reason, and all generous 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 attended. 

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 endea- 
voin- an acquaintance with them, "according to the measure of the gift of Chri.st unto 
every one," is made plain in the Scriptures of trutli. If tins way be neglected 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 understanding 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 discovery 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 communica- 
tion are suited unto the distinct nature of each truth in particular. So the truth 
of things natural 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, ordi- 
narily, is there any thing more required unto that degree of certainty of know- 
ledge in things of that nature 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 whereas these things belong unto the work of the old creation and the pre- 
servation thereof, or the rule and government of mankind in this world merely as 
rational creatures, there is no use of means, no communication of aids, spiritual or 
supernatural, absolutely necessary to be exercised or granted about thera. Where- 
fore, 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 superstruction thereon in their diligent exercise, without any peculiar ap- 
plication to God for especial grace or assistance, reserving still a liberty unto the 
sovereignty of divine Providence in the disposal of all men and their concerns. 

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 our- 
selves unto him fur instruction is required of us. In these things also there ai'e de- 
grees, according as they approach, on the one hand, unto the infinite abyss of the 
divine essence and existence, — as the eternal generation 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, whereof we have experience. According 
unto these degrees, as the divine condescension is exerted in their revelation, so 
ought our attention, in the exercise of faith, humility, 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 supernatural 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 com- 
municated unto any but by the especial operation of the Holy Spirit. Kor is any 
consideraljle degree 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 revela- 
tion 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 them- 
selves 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' edification. 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 being entirely things of this 
nature, in their several degrees of access unto God or ourselves, X shall give no 


account of any particular endeavours in my inquiries into them, hut leave the judg- 
ment thereof uftto the evidence of the effects produced thereby : only, whereas I 
faiovsr not any who ever v^ent before me in this design of representing 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 kw 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 othei's, is left unto the learned readers to judge and determine. And in 
what concerns the adjuncts and properties of His mission and operation, i^r-me 
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 Scrip- 
ture, 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 authority. 

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 
thjngs spiritual, natural, moral, artificial, and political, with the instances whereby 
these operations of His are confirmed. All these things, many whereof are handled 
by others separately 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 se- 
verely under the bounds of sobriety, and not to indulge unto any curious or un- 
warrantable 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 wherewith 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 par- 
takers of. Accordingly, we find in the New Testament, 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 parti- 
cular instances, so appropriated unto him, as that it is withal declared that no- 
thing of it in any kind can be enjoyed or performed without his especial operation, 
aid, and assistance ; so careful was God fully to instruct 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 woik, 
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 con- 
tradictions of some in former ages have been fierce and clamorous, yet all that 
hath fallen out of that kind hath been exceeding short of what is come to pass in 
the days wherein we live ; for, not to mention the Socinians, who have gathered 
into one head, or rather ulcerous imposthume, all the virulent oppositions made 
unto His deity or grace by the Photinians, Macedonians, and Pelagians of old, 
there are others, who, professing no enmity unto his divine person, yea, admitting 
and owning the doctrine of the church concerning it, are yet ready on all occa- 
sions to despise and reproach that whole work for which he was promised 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 interest in that work of his, as his, with- 
out 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 imputations on 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 [to] 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 nnd corruption abiding on the minds of men, the great adversary 
is able, by his subtle malice, to make impressions on them. But in these things 
not a few do please themselves, despise others, and would count themselves 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 excluded out of our reli- 
gion? Take away the dispensation of the Spirit, and his effectual operations in 
all the intercourse 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 religion, is so also to be the most pernicious, beyond 
all notional mistakes and errors about the same things, being constantly accom- 
panied with profaneness, and commonly issuing in atheism. 

The sense I intend is fully expressed in the ensuing complaint of a learned per- 
son, published many years ago: "In seculo hodie tam perverso prorsus immersi 


vivimus miseri, in quo Spiritus Sanctus omnino ferme pro ludibi-io habetur: imo 
in quo etiam sunt qui non tantum corde toto eum repudient ut factis negent, sed 
quoque adeo blasphemi in eum exsurgant ut penitus eundem ex orbe expulsum aut 
exulatum cupiant, quum illi nuUam in operationibus suis relinquant efficaciam; 
ac propriis vanorum habituura suorum viribus, ao rationis profanae libertati car- 
nalitatique suae omnem ascribant sapientiam, et fortitudinem in rebus agendis. 
Unde tanta malignitas externae proterviae apud mortales cernitur. Ideoque per- 
nicies nostra nos jam ante fores expectat," etc. Herein lies the rise and spring of 
that stated apostasy 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 calum- 
nies under the darkness and shades whereof some seek to countenance themselves 
in their profane scoffing at his whole dispensation ; to manifest in all instances 
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 preserved, — is the 
principal design of the ensuing discourses. 

Now, whereas the effectual operation of the blessed Spirit in the regeneration 
or conversion of sinners is, of all other parts of this 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 without 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 annihilation 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 suited unto the edification of 
thenrvthat do believe, and directed unto their furtherance in true spiritual obedi- 
ence and holiness, or the obedience of faith. Hence, it may be, some will judge 
that our discourses on these subjects 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 principal concernment to lie in 
such discourses as may direct and encourage them in the holy practice of their 
duty. And whereas the way, manner, and method of the Holy Spirit, in his ope- 
rations 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 re- 
flected 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 par- 


tiilcers 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 where- 
with 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 waiving 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 probability. 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 encouragement 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 exercise of that industry which God re- ' 
quires of him by the consideration of the aid and assistance which he hath pro- 
mised unto him, I cannot understand. The work of obedience is difficult and of 
the highest importance; 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, falling unavoidably under con- 
sideration, 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 thebelief of the Scriptures and right imderstand- 
ing of the mind of Qod in them, in the communication of gifts unto the church, and 
in 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 consisteth in our sanctifcation, 
whereon our evangelical obedience or holiness doth depend. How much all his 
operations herein also are by some despised, what endeavours there have been to 
debase the nature of gospel-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 treating concerning the work of 
the Holy Spirit in our sanctification, to make a diligent and full inquiry into the 
true nature of evangelical holiness, and that spiritual life unto God which all be- 
lievers are created unto in Christ Jesus. And herein, following the conduct of 
the Scriptures from first to last, the difference that is between them and that exer- 
cise of moral virtue which some plead for in their stead did so evidently manifest 
itself, as that it needs no great endeavour to represent it unto any impartial judg- 
ment. 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 practice and improvement of holiness; which also hath occasioned the 
lengthenmg 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 sea 

' 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 

1 Christians remaining 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 

1 against that putid figment of moral virtue being all our gospel holiness, or that the 

• reparation of our natures and life unto God doth 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 ridicu- 
lous 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 convictions 
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 proceeded in the declaration and vindication of the despised work of 
the Spirit of God under the New Testament, referring the remaining instances 
above mentioned unto another occasion. 

The oppositions unto all that we believe and maintain 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 communication of gifts or the Ope- 
ration 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 
unto: — 

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 
reparation of their natures, the sanctificationof their persons, 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; although, so far as I can 
discern, if it be so, it is as Hierom 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 pro- 
ceeding from and resolved into supernatural revelation. 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 perfection, which are revealed unto 
us; for we do not directly deal with them by whom the principal mysteries of the 
gospel are rejected, because they cannot comprehend them, under a pretence that 
what is above reason 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 illumi- 
nation. If this be denied by anv, as we acknowledge our dissent from them, so we 
know that we do no injury to reason thereby, and will rather suffer under the im- 
putation of so doing than, by renouncing of the Scripture, to turn infidels, that we 
may be esteemed rational. But we cannot conceive how reason should be preju- 
diced 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 Scripture or proposed therein, and do wish that 
all men might be left peaceable under that determination, where we know they 
must abide, whether they will or no. 

But the inquiry in this matter is, what reasonableness appears in the mysteries' 
of our religion when revealed 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 
imto in the ensuii:g 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 wisdom of God. But the question is not, 
w-hat it is in itself? but what it is in relation to our reason, or how it appears there- 
unto? 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 spi- 
ritual mysteries as revealed, so seeing them in their proper light, it finds by experi- 
ence their necessity, use, goodness, and benefit, with respect unto our chiefest good 
and supreme end. It remains, therefore, only that we inquire how reasonable the 
mysteries of Christian religion are unto the minds of men as corrupted ; 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 reasonableness of evangeli- 
cal faith and obedience until the state and condition of our reason be agreed [on]. 
Wherefore, to speak plainly in the case, as we do acknowledtre 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 doctrmes revealed in the Scripture, and, in the 
use of such aids and means as it is capable to improve, is more and better unto him 
than any judge or interpreter that should impose a sense upon him not suit,ed there- 
unto; so, as to the spiritual things themselves of the gospel, in their own nature, it 
is enmity against them, and they are foolishness unto it. If, therefore, it be a 
crime, if it be to the impeachment and disadvantage of reason, to affirm that our 
minds stand in need of the renovation of the Holy Ghost, to enable them to under- 
stand spiritual things in a spiritual manner, we do acknowledge ourselves guilty 
thereof. But otherwise, that by asserting the efficacious operations of the Spirit 
of God, and the necessity of them unto the discharge of every spiritual duty to- 
wards God in an acceptable manner, we do deny that use and exercise of our own 
reason in things religious and spiritual 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 


Spii'it, we expose men to be deceived by satanical dehisions, [and] open a door to 
enthusiasms, directing them to the guidance of unaccountable impulses and reve- 
lations; 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 [by] 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 secure us from the danger of 
them. It is true, there have been of old, and haply 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 therein added for their discovery and disprovement. But 
if we must therefore reject the true and real operations 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 diabolical 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 in- 
tend by impulses, I know not. If it be especial aids, assistances, and inclinations 
unto duties, acknowledged to be such, and the duties of persons so assisted and in- 
clined, and these peculiarly incumbent on them in their present circumstances, it 
requires no small caution that, under an invidious name, we reject not those sup- 
plies of grace which are promised 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 condition and circumstances, are thus 
expressed, as we utterly abandon them, so no pretence is given unto them from any 
tiling 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 contrary 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. Neither have any of the ope- 
rations 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 reve- 
lations, 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. 16-19, and whose 
nature, God assisting, shall be fully explained hereafter. So little pretence, there- 
fore, 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 tbe vroA. 
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, are 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 spiritual. Wherefore, unless they come with better authority than as 
yet they can pretend unto, and give a better example of their own way and manner 
of teaching 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 endeavour an accommodation of all our expressions thereunto, whether to 
them intelligible or not, and that for reasons so eas^ to be conceived as that tiwy 
need not here be pleaded. 





1 Cor. xii. 1 opened — nvivfia.Ti»d, 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 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 spiri- 
tual gifts — Proper end of their communication — Nine sorts of gifts — Abuse 
of them in the church — Their tendency unto peace and order — General design 
of the ensuing discourse concerning the Spirit and his dispensation — Import- 
ance of the doctrine concerning the Spirit of God and his operations 

Reasons hereof— Pi'omise of the Spirit' to supply the absence of Christ, as to 
his human nature — Concernment thereof — Work of the Spirit in the minis- 
tration of the gospel — All saving good communicated unto us and wrought 
m 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 — Pre- 
tenders 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 Testaments 
compared — A false spirit, set up against the Spirit of God, examined — False 
and noxious opinions concerning the Spirit, and how to be obviated — Re- 
proaches of the Spirit and his work — Principles and occasions of the apostasy 
of churches under the law and gospel — Dispensation of the Spirit not con- 
fined to the first ages of the church — The great necessity of a diligent in- 
quii-y into the things taught concerning the Spirit of God and his work. 

The apostle Paul, in the 12th 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 wherewith he prefaceth his whole dis- 
course declare : Verse 1, " Now, concerning spiritual gifts,"— ns/s'/ 
ds Tuv <?r)iivfji,arix.M\i' — that is, ^a,piff//.a.Tav, 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, ZjjXoDrs 8s ra yaf'teihara TO, xpiiTTova, — " Covet 
earnestly the best gifts," — namely, among those which he proposed to 
treat of, and had done so accordingly, verse 31. The ra, •yxsu/iar/xa of 
verse 1 are the t& y^aple/iara of verse 81 ; as it is expressed, chap, 
xiv. 1, ZtjXovts ds TO, irviviMarixa, — that is, yapidiMara^ — "'Desire spiritual 
gifts,' whose nature and use you are now instructed in, as it first was 
proposed." Of these that church had received an abundant measure, 
especially of those that were extraordinary, and tended to the con- 
viction 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," verse 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, exer- 
cise, and management of these " spiritual gifts," that church, or 
sundry of the principal members of it, had fallen into manifold dis- 
orders, and abused them unto the matter of emulation and ambition, 
whereon other evils did ensue ;^ 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, 1 Cor. i. 11, and 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 excellent pri- 
vileges as they had abused, and without which they could not re- 
ceive the instruction which he intended them, he mindeth them of 
their former state and condition before their calling and conversion 
to Christ, chap. xii. 2, " Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried 
away with dumb idols, even as ye were led;" ug av yjyiffdi aitayoit^im, 

TlvivftetriKoc to, trnftiTa xaXZv, on Taura tpyx rov trvtificcros fievcv, elioiy av^aanr/'mj 
Wtia-ftpouff))! tfTtouhni, ih TO Ta roiavret B-av/iarovpyiTv. — Clirysost. in loc. So also Am- 
bros. and Theophylact. in loc. 

* Xcipi^rftara. dt £';)j«v, oi fuv iXurrovoc, oi ol TXtitu' xa) tovto a'lTiov ffx^'iffftaroi auroTs 
cytvlTt, ov 'JTa.fa, <r>iv oiKHav ipufiv, aXXa Tccfk dyvufiotrmriv tuv ilXri<p'oTui' «'/ts yoif tcc //.li- 
%'.)ia, 'ix.oi'^iS i-rr.fuvTo x«t« tuv ra. iXccTToya xiXTti/iivcov ourei it ecu vraXiv HXyovv, xai roTi 
<ra /iii^ota 'i^ovffiv if^ovovv. — ChrySOSt. in loc. 


— 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 ex- 
pected from them who had received such an alteration in their con- 
dition.^ 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 declares 
unto them by the effects and author of it: chap. xii. 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 concerning 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 
sphit 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 anathema," " He is," 
or, "Let him be, accursed/' detested, destroyed. And in this blas- 
phemy do the Jews continue to this day, hiding their cursed senti- 
ments under a corrupt pronunciation of his name: for instead of 
^^1, they write and call him ^'^'^., the initial letters of ii^H ^^^ ^^\ 
— that is, " Let his name and memory be blotted out;" the same with 
" Jesus anathema." And this blasphemy of pronouncing Jesus ac- 
cursed 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 those Corinthians themselves to whom he wrote, 
whilst they also were carried away after " dumb idols." On th& 
other side, those that believed called Jesus " Lord," or professed that 
he was the Lord; and thereby avowed their faith in him and obedi- 
ence unto him. Principally, they owned him to be Jehovah, the 
Lord over all, God blessed for ever; for the name '"'j'^^. is every- 

1 " Spiritualia illis traditurus, exemplum prioris conversationis memorat ; ut sicufr 
eiraulacrorum fueruiit formtl colontes idola, et ducebanturduce voluntate daemonioruui,. 
ita et colentes deuui siut loraia ioj^is doiulnicu)." — Aiubros. iu loc. 

YOL. III. 2 


•where in the New Testament expressed by Kupiog, here used. He 
Avho thus professeth Jesus to be the Lord, in the first place acknow- 
ledgeth him to be the true God. And then they professed him 
therewithal to be their Lord, the Lord of their souls and consciences, 
imto 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 dis- 
owned 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 verse 34, he "suf- 
fered not the devils to speak, because they knew him." And the dam- 
sel possessed with a spirit of divination cried after the apostle and his 
companions, saying, " These men are the servants of the most high 
God," Acts xvi. 1 7. So also did the man who abode in the tombs, pos- 
sessed with an unclean 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 acknowledgments 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 ; and 

" Malus bonum cum simulat, tunc est pessimus." 

These things, therefore, can have here no place.^ Hereby, then, the 
apostle informs them wherein the foundation of all church relation, 
order, and worship, did consist: for whereas 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 re- 

•v'lo; rou Siov; olx) Uast/Xa; 'iXiyov, ovTot ot av^^wjroi oovXoi ToZ 0iou rou ii^itrrov ti<riv ; i)^}i.ei 
fiatrrtl^oiitvoiy aXX' o.vayKoJ^oft.iiioi, IxctTis ei Koci fir) fittrriyou/iivoi, auia(iov. — ChrySOStii 

in loc. 


strained unto the manner of speaking afterward insisted on-/ for 
the apostle in the following verses treateth of those extraordinary 
gifts which many in that church were then endowed withal. " None 
can," saith he, " say ' Jesus is the Lord/ in an extraordinary manner, 
with divers tongues, and in prophecy, but by the Holy Ghost ;" — with- 
out his especial assistance, none can eminently and miraculously de- 
clare him so to be. And if this be so, it is likely that those before 
intended, who said Jesus was accursed, were some persons pretend- 
ing 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 
up in those days, to preserve, if it were possible, his tottering king- 
dom 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 incon- 
sistent with the design of the apostle 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 
tliem 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 him- 
self The great change wrought in them, as to their religion and 
profession, was by the Holy Ghost ; for no man can say that Jesus 
is the Lord, which is the sum and substance of our Christian profes- 
sion, 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 
tilings: — First, Faith in him as Lord and Saviour. So was he de- 
clared 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 expresseth 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 where- 
by 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. 
' Crel de Spir. Sane, Prolegom., pp. 29-31. 


And that these are the works of the Holy Ghost, which none of 
themselves are sufficient for, shall, God assisting, be afterward abun- 
dantly 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 established, and whereby the profession of 
it might be enlarged : 1 Cor. xii. 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 prece'ding the 11th, which we 
principally aim at. 

Treating, therefore, '?rspi ruv 'rvsv/x^anxuv, 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," verse 4 ; the " Lord," verse 5 ; " God," verse 6 ; 
and to denote the oneness of their author, notwithstanding the di- 
versity of the things themselves, he calls him the same Spirit, the 
same Lord, the savie God. The words may be understood two 
Avays : First, That the whole Trinity, and each person disl inctly, should 
be intended in them ; — for consider the immediate operator of these 
gifts, and it is the " Spirit" or the Hol_y Ghost, verse 4; consider them 
as to their procurement and immediate authoritative collation, and 
so they are from Christ, the Son, the " Lord," verse 5 ; but as to their 
first original and fountain, they are from " God," even the Father, 
verse 6 : and all these are one and the same. But rather the Spirit 
alone is intended, and hath this threefold 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 in- 
tendeth, so he calls him both "Lord" and "God," as to manifest his 
sovereign authority in all his works and administrations, so to ingene- 
rate a due reverence in their hearts towards him with whom they had 
to ;lo in this matter. And no more is intended in these three verses 
but what is summed up, verse 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 dis- 
tributes them into " gifts," ;^a/5/o7Aara, verse 4 ; " administrations,'' 
btaxovtai, verse 5; "operations," hipyrjiiara, verse 6; — which division, 
with the reasons of it, will in our progress be farther cleared. 

Thirdly, He declares the general end of tlie Spirit of God in the 
conmiunication of them, and the use of them in the church: Verse 7, 

tiTJ.p. l] the holy spirit and his woek. 21 

" But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to pro- 
fit withal." ^avepuetgroij Uvsvfiarog' Syr., nrrni W?i, — "the revelation 
of the Spirit;" that is, the gifts whereby and in whose exercise he 
manifests and reveals his own presence, power, and effectual opera- 
tion. And the Spirit of God hath no other aim in granting these 
his enlightening 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 advan- 
tage by them, in riches, honour, or reputation, — for which ends Simon 
the magician would have purchased them with his money. Acts viii. 
18, 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 furtherance of faith and profession in others : Ufhg H ev//,(pspov 
" Ad id quod expedit, prodest;" " For that which is expedient, useful, 
profitable," — namely, to the church, 1 Cor. 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. Knowledge, 1 Cor. xii. 8, or the word of 
wisdom and the word of knowledge; 3. Faith; 4. Healing, verse 9; 
5. Working of miracles; 6. Prophecy; 7. Discerning of spirits; 8. 
Kinds of tongues; 9. Interpretation of tongues, verse 10. And all 
these were extraordinary gifts, in the manner of the communication 
and exercise, which related unto the then present state of the church. 
^V^hat is yet continued analogous unto them, or holding proportion 
with them, must be farther inquired into, when also their especial 
nature will be unfolded. But now if there be that great diversity of 
gifts in the church,^ if so much difference in their administrations, 
how can it possibly be prevented but that differences and divisions 
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 Co- 
rinth. One admired one gift, a second another of a different kind, 
and so the third. Accordingly, among those who had received them, 

' " Ex hoc capite et proximo licet conjicere qute fuerint dotes illius veteris ecclesisB 
Ohristianse, priusquam tot ceremoniis, opibus, imperiis, copiis, bellis aliisque id genus 
esset oiierata. Nunc fere tot pr^clara munia ad unam Potestatem redacta sunt : h. e., 
Christl titulo palliatam Tyrannidem. Quid enim aliud est potestas nisi adsit animua 
apostoiicus ?" — Erasm. Annot. ad v. 4. 


one boasted of this or that particular gift and ability, and would be 
continually 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-ad- 
vancement, 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 pecu- 
liarly 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, aad almost to be" broken in 
pieces, chap. i. 11, 12. So foolish ofttimes are the minds of men, so 
liable to be imposed upon, so common is it for their lusts, seduced 
and principled by the craft of Satan, to turn judgment into worm- 
wood, 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 administra- 
tions, at what an agreement they are among themselves in their ten- 
dency 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, chap, xii. 11. " All these," saith he,^ " worVeth that one 
and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will." 
I shall not at present farther open or insist upon these words. Fre- 
quent 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 com- 
munication of him unto the sons of men : a work in itself too great 
and difficult for me to undertake, and beyond my ability to manage 
unto the glory of God or the edification of the souls of them that 
do believe, for " who is sufficient for these things?" 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 up- 
braideth them not, James 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, impor- 
tance, 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 considerations, before I insist on 
the things themselves whose especial explanation is designed. 

1 ' AiroCTiXXirai //.iv oiKovofiixa;, Xvifyu SI avTt^oufiu;. — Basil. HoniiL XY. de Fide. 


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 trutlis 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 designed the great and glorious work of re- 
covering 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 Father, in the design and 
projection of the whole; the love, grace, and condescension of the 
Son, in the execution, purchase, and procurement of grace and sal- 
vation for sinners; with the love, grace, and power of the Holy 
Spirit, in the effectual 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 concern- 
ing the sending of his Son to be incarnate, to take our nature upon 
him, and to suffer for us therein ; the other, concerning the givino: of 
his Spirit, to make the effects and fruits of the incarnation, obedi- 
ence, and suffering of his Son, effectual in us and towards us. To these 
heads may all the promises of God be reduced. Now, because 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 concerning the 
Holy Spirit, to render his coming and work effectual unto us. But 
when once that first work was fully accomplished, when the Son of 
God was come, and had destroyed the works of the devil, the prin- 
cipal remaining promise of the New Testament, the spring of all the 
rest, concerneth the sending of the Holy Spirit unto the accomplish- 
ment 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 immediate object of the ftiith 
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 
previous 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 maintain 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, John xvi. 5, 6. Designing to relieve them in this 
great distress, — 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 ad- 
vantage than any they could receive by the continuance of his bodily 
presence amongst them. And to secure them hereof, as also to in- 
form them of its great importance, 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 Comforter, 
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 dwelleth with you, and shall be in 
you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you;" that 
is, in and by this Holy Spirit. And verses 25-27, "These things 
have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Com- 
forter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my 
name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your re- 
membrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with 
you," etc. And chap. xv. 26, "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, sorrow hatli filled your heart. Never- 
theless 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 
reprove 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 judgment, because the 
prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto 
you, but ye 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 will show you things to come. He shall glorify nae : for 
he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things 
that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall 
take of mine, and shall show it unto you."^ This was the great 
legacy which our Lord Jesus Christ, departing out of this world, be- 
(jueathed unto his sorrowful disciples. This he promiseth unto them 
as a sufficient relief against all their troubles, 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. 1 7, 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 apgstle, as the ancients judge, 
to rebuke the boastinof of some about their seeing the Lord in the 
flesh, who were thereon called hfCirdcuvoi, whom he directs unto a 
more excellent knowledge of him. It is in vain pretended that it 
A> as the apostles only, and it may be some of the primitive Christians, 
Vvho were concerned in this promise, for although the Holy Ghost 
v.as bestowed on them in a peculiar manner and for especial ends, 
}et the promise in general belongs unto all believers unto the end of 
tlie world ;^ for as to what concerns his gracious operations, what- 

1 " Spiritus Sanctus ad hoc missus a Christo, ad hoc postulatus de Patre ut esset doctor 
veritatis, Christi vicarius." — Tertul. advers. Hseret. cap. xxviii. 

" Quoiiiam Dominus in caelos esset abiturus, Paracletum discipulis necessario dabat, ne 
illos quodammodo pupillos, quod minime decebat, relinquerct ; et sine advocato et quo- 
dam tutore desereret. Hie est enim qui ipsorum animos mentesque firniavit, qui in ipsis 
illumiuatoi' rerum divinarum fuit ; quo confirmati, pro nomine Domini nee carceres nee 
vincula timuerunt : quin imo ipsas seculi potestates et tormenta calcaverunt, armati jam 
Hcilicet per ipsum atque firmati, habentes in se dona qu£e hie idem Spiritus ecclesise 
Christi sponsce, quasi quaedam ornamenta distribuit et dirigit." — Novat. de Trinitat. 

" Totum ex Spiritus Sancti constat ducatu, quod devii diriguntur, quod impii con- 
vertuntur, quod debiles confirmantur. Spiritus rectus, Spiritus Sanctus, Spiritus prin- 
cipalis regit, componit, consummat et perficit, nostras inhabitat mentes, et corda quae 
possidet ; nee errare patitur, nee corrumpi, nee vinci quos docuerit, quos possederit, quos 
gladio potentissimoB veritatis accinxerit." — Cypr. de Spir. Sane. 

* " Prossentia 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 iuteliigi, 'sicut dedisti ei potestatem omnis carnis, ut omne quod dedisti 


ever the Lord Christ prayed for for them, and so promised unto them 
(as the Spirit was procured for them on his prayer, John xiv. 16, 
1 7), he " prayed not for it for them alone, but for them also which 
should believe on him through their word," chap, xvil 20. And his 
promise is, to be " with his alway, even unto the end of the world/' 
Matt, xxviii. 20; as also, that "wherever two or three are gathered 
together in his name, there he would be in the midst of them," chap, 
xviii. 20 ; — which he is no otherwise but by his Spirit ; for as for his 
human nature, " the heaven must receive him until the times of res- 
titution of all things," Acts iii. 21. And this one consideration is 
sufficient to evince the importance of the doctrine and things which 
concern 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 happiness do absolutely de- 
pend, 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 
himself; for " if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none 
of his," Rom. viii. 9. 

2. The great work of the Holy Ghost in the dispensation and 
ministration of the gospel, unto all the ends of it, is another evidence 
unto the same purpose.^ Hence, the gospel itself is called " The mi- 
nistration of the Spirit," 2 Cor. iii. 8, in opposition to that of the law, 
which is called the ministration of the letter and of condemna- 
tion. Aiaxovta roxt Uvivfiarog, the " ministry of the Spirit," is either 
that ministry which 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 Testament is of unto the 
Jews. It is therefore a mischievous imagination, proceeding from 
ignorance, blindness, and unbelief, that tliere is no more in the gospel 
but what is contained under any other doctrine or declaration of 
truth, — that it is nothing but a book for men to exercise their reason 

ei det eis vitam seternam ;' sed ubique de omnibus quibus in eum credentibus vita seterna 
datur." — Aug. Tractat. 106, in Evangel. Joban. 

" Munus hoc quod in Christo est, — in consummationem seculi nobiscum; hoc expec- 
tationis noslrse solatium, hoc in dononim operationibus futuiiB spei pignus est; hoc 
mentiuin lumen, hie splendor animorum est." — Hilar, lib. ii. 35, de Trinitat. 

' " Ilic est qui prophetas in ecclesia constituit. magistros erudit, linguas dirigit, ver- 
tutes et sanctitates facit, opera mirabilia gerit, discretiones spirituum porrigit, guber- 
natiories contribuit, consilia suggerit, quseque alia sunt charisniatum dona compouit ct 
digerit ; et idco ecclesiam Domino undique et in omnibus consummatam et perlectam 
facit." — Tertul. 


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 therewith is the cove- 
nant of God rejected, which is, that his word and Spirit shall go 
together, Isa. lix. 21. We shall, therefore, God assisting, mani- 
fest in ovir 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. 

S. There is not any spiritual or saving good from first to last com- 
municated 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? 
Whatever 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 cf 
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 tlie 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 meantime 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 communicated unto us and wrought in us. By him 
we are regenerated;^ 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 inquire into 
the cause and sj^ring 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, 

' " Hie est qui operatur ex aquis seeundam nativitatem, semen quoddam divini gene- 
ris, et consecrator cselestis nativitatis; pignus promissae hoereditatis et quasi chiro- 
grapbum quoddam seternae salutis ; qui nos Dei faciat templum et nos efficiat domum, 
qui intevpellat diviiias aures pro nobis gemitibua ineloquacibus, advocationis officia, et 
detensionis exliibens munera, inhabitator corporibus nostris ductus, et sanctitatis efi'eo 
tor; hie est qui iuexplebiles cupiditates coercet," etc. — No vat. de Triuitat. 


5. God lets us know that the only peculiarly remediless sin and 
way of sinning under tlie gospel is to sin in an especial 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, "Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be for- 
given him, neither in this world, neither 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, which 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 effectual 
unto us the great remedy provided in the blood of Christ for the 
pardon of our sins, if he in the prosecution of that work be despised, 
blasphemed, despitefully used, there neither 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 
sacrifice effectual unto us, if the Holy Ghost in his work be despised 
and rejected. This, therefore, is a tender place.^ 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 necessitjj, of the doctrine jjroposed to be in- 
quired into. They are enough to manifest wlmt is the concernment 
of all believers herein ; for on the account of these things the Scrip- 
ture 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 

1 " Omnibus quidem quas divina sunt cum reverentia et velienienti cura oportet in- 
tendere, maxime autem his quae dc Spiritus Sancti divinitate dicuntur, pitesertim cum 
blasphemia in eum sine vcnia sit; ita ut blasphemantis poena tendatur non solum in 
omne prgesens seculum, scd etiam in futurum. Ait quippe Salvator, blaspliemanti in 
Spiiitum Sanctum non esse rcmissionem, ' neque in isto seculo ncque in tuturo : ' unde 
magis ac magis intendere oportet quae Scripturarura de eo relatio sit : ne in aliquem, 
saltern per ignorantiam, blasphemia error obrepat." — Didym. de Spir. Sane. lib. i., In- 
terpret. Hieron. 

[Didymus, from whom Owen quotes so copiously in the following pages, was a pro- 
fessor of theology in Alexandria, and died a.d. 896 at the age of eiglity-five. He be- 
came blind when only four years old, and yet contrived to acquire gieat distinction for 
his knowledge of all the sciences of the age, and especially of theology. His treatise 
on the Holy Spirit was translated by Jerome into Latin, and appears among the works 
of that father. — Ed.] 


! 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 condi- 
tion 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 Testament, besides the great and precious pro- 
raises that are given concerning him in the Old, will find and con- 
clude, unless he be prepossessed with prejudice, that the whole of 
what is declared in those writings turns on this only hinge. Remove 
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 work of the Spirit 
make the thorough consideration of what we are taught concerning 
them exceeding necessaiy. Had not these things been excellent in 
themselves, and so acknowledged 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 
l)een the false pretences of some in all ages unto the Spirit of God 
and his work, whose real excellencies in themselves have made those 
pretences abominable and unspeakably dangerous; for the better 
the things are which are coimterfeited, the worse always are the ends 
they are employed unto. In the whole world there is nothing so 
vile as that which pretendeth to he God, and is not; 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 impres- 
sion 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, never inspired by 
the Holy Spirit ; but were rather, on the contrary, 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 judsment of God, unto all delusions, for belying 
his Spirit and holy inspirations, they were quickly possessed with a 


spirit of lying and unclean divination. So the false prophets o^ 
Ahab, who encouraged hira 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 
prophecy; but when Micaiah came to lay open the mystery of their 
iniquity, it appeared that a lying spirit, by the permission of God, 
had possessed their minds, and gave them impressions, which being 
supernatural, they were deceived as well as they did deceive, verses 
19-23. This they were justly given up unto, pretending falsely 
unto the inspiration of that Holy Spirit whicVi they had not re- 
ceived. And no otherwise 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, direct- 
ing all their prophetic actings unto the promotion of their worship. 
Such were the prophets of Baal, in whose name expressly they pro- 
phesied, and whose assistance they invocated : " They called on the 
name of Baal, saying, Baal, hear us," 1 Kings xviii. 26-29. Many 
of these were slain by Elijah, and the whole race of them afterward 
extirpated by Jehu, 2 Kings x. 18-28. 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 Scri^Dture. 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 sorts. 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 divina- 
tion," and enabled them to declare things unknown unto other men. 
They, in the meantime, really finding themselves acted by a power 
superior to them, took and owned that to be the power of their god; 
and thereby became immediate worshippers 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, — he 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. 1-4, but also to 
traduce him as a false prophet, and to urge his punishment according 
to the law, chap. xxix. 25-27. And with the like confidence did 
Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah carry it towards Micaiah, 1 Kings 
xxii 24; 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 revela- 
tion?" 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 un- 
awares: and whoever take the same course in the time of deserved, 
threatened, impendent judgments, though they use not the same 
means, yet they also do the work of the devil ; for whatever encou- 
rageth 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 verse 9 to 33 ; where any one may read 
their sin and judgment. And yet this false pretending unto the 
spirit of prophecy was very far from casting any conten^pt 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 declared from the im- 
mediate revelation of the Spirit, preached by the assistance of the 

'Emioaii yxp TiXirctTi rifi xai /aayyavtiais Karihrxfi oaifiovd ri; lis avipwrov, *as* 
XuavrtuiTo ixi7yo;, Koi ficcvrtvo/^ivos Iffii'Tiro, xa) Iff'^a.famro, xa.) IviyKtlv too daif^stes 
Tjjv cff^riii oux r^ivaro aXX' 'i/^tiXXi iiaa'Ttif^iva; o'lirui i-roXXvir^ai, toTs ra TciauTa /ncy 
yicviiiovffi <pn<ri. 

Auffart Xoi'Tot avaxra, fipoTo; Qiov cvx in •^tupiT. — ChrysOSt. in 1 Cor. Xll. 


Spirit, made effectual by his work and power, [and] was accompanied in 
many by outward miraculous 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 compass- 
ing 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, having treated con- 
cerning the revelation of God by his Spirit in prophecy, under the 
Old Testament and the New, 2 Epist., chap. i. 19-21, adds, as an 
inference from that discourse, a comparison between the false pro- 
phets 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 tbeir prophecies, saying, " Thus saith the Lord," when 
he sent them not, so these ascribed all their abominable heresies to 
the inspiration 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. 1-3, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, 
but try the spirits whether they are of God : because many false pro- 
phets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of 
God : Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the 
flesli is of God: and every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus 
Christ is come in the flesh is not of God." A twofold 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 re- 
ceive 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 doctrine," like vessels at sea without 
anchors or helms, by the "sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, 
whereby they lie in wait to deceive ;" for the crafts and sleights 
Intended are such as men use when they cast a mist, as it were, be- 
fore the eyes of others whom they intend to cheat and defraud. So 
dealt false teachers with their disciples, by their pretences of imme- 
diate revelations. His next direction informs us how we may ob- 
serve this caution unto our advantage; and this is, by trying the 
spirits themselves. This is the duty of all believers on any such 
pretences. Tiiey are to try these s])irits, 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 a,postles 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 Home, which in like manner pretends 
unto apostolical authority and infallibility. 

Unto these two directions the apostle subjoins the reason of the 
present watchfulness required unto the discharge of this duty: "Be- 
cause," saith he, " many false prophets are gone out into the world."' 
It is "false teachers," as Peter calls them, "bringing in damnable here- 
sies," concerning whom he speaks. And he calleth them " false pro- 
phets," partly in an allusion unto the false prophets under the Old 
Testament, Avith whom they are ranked and compared by Peter, 
and partly because, as they fathered their prejudices on divine reve- 
lation, 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 de- 
lusion, — 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 
extraordinary 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, 1 John iv. 2, S. 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 con- 
sonant 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,. 
"Though 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 

VOL. III. 3 


tlie apostle shows that, for our advantage in this trial we are to make of 
spirits, it is goodto have a dear conviction 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, endeavour- 
ing thereby to overthrow both the one and the other, the apostle ad- 
viseth believers to try the spirits by this one fundamental principle of 
truth, namely, that "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh;" which con- 
tains a confession both of his person and mediation. This, therefore, 
believers were to demand of all new teachers and pretenders 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 bidding them God speed, 2 John 7, 10, 11. 
And I could easily manifest how many pernicious heresies were ob- 
viated in those days by this short confession of faith. For some of 
late (as Grotius, following Socinus and Schlichtingius) interpreting 
"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," verse 16, — that is, his being "made of a ■woman," 
Gal. iv. 4; or his being "made of the seed of David according to the 
flesh," Rom. i, 3 ; or his "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 phan- 
tasy, an appearance, a manifestation of divine love and power, 
denying that the Son of God was really incarnate, as the ancients 
generally testify. And well had it been for many iji 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 deceiving spirits, and have been en- 
gaged 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 oi 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 prophets 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 perso .s of the church. Direction for this is given, 


Deut. xiii. 1-3, " If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer 
of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the 
wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee" (effect any thing 
by a seeming presence of an extraordinary power), saying, " Let us go 
after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 
thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that propliet, or that 
dreamer of dreams." 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. xxvL 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 prophets 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 pro- 
perties of Christians. See Rom. xii. 2; Eph. v. 8-12; 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 communication 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, " Dis- 
cerning 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 
()f 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 
vjord 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 caution them that they suffered 
not themselves to be deceived in their expectation and computations 
ubout 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 in- 
stances 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 watcli- 


fiilness against these delusions are necessaiy; for on such opportuni- 
ties it is, when the use and reputation of spiritual gifts is eminent,- 
that Satan doth lay 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 phantastical 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 com- 
munication of spiritual gifts and graces unto men, in and upon the 
Reformation, the old dreads and terrors, nightly appearances, tending 
luito deeds of darkness, vanished, and everywhere,' by Satan's insti- 
gation, arose false pretenders to the Spirit of God ; in which way of 
delusion he will still be more active and industrious, as God shall in- 
crease 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 declara- 
tion from the Scripture of the nature of the Holy Spirit and his 
operations may, through the blessing of God, be of use to fortify the 
minds of professors against satanical delusions counterfeiting his act- 
ings 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 according 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; 
f )r 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 product 
of Satan upon their own imaginations, or at best the natural light 
of conscience ; which some of the heathens also call " a spirit,"^ But 
hereunto do they trust, as to that which doth all for them, leaving no 
room for the " promise of the Spirit 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 here- 
fifter. 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 

1 " Ita dico, Lucili, sacer intra nos spiritus sedet, nialorum bonorumque nostronira 
obscrvatoi' et custos : hie prout auobis tractatus est, ita uos ipse tractat." — l^eucc. Ep. xli. 


easy to demonstrate how by tlieir 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 sul)stitute 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 grow- 
ing 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 strongholds, casting down such 
like imaginations, and every high thing 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 errors and the breaking of the snares of Satan, by whom 
the}^ 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, " ])urn, cut, and kill," are alone of any signification, — that 
thiuk, " Arise, Peter, kill and eat," to be a j^recept 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 manifest 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 imto the enjoyment of him. 
Fourtlily, There are, moreover, many hurtful and noxious opinions 
concerning the Holy Ghost gone abroad in the world, and entertained 
by many, to the subversion of the faith which they have professed.^ 

1 " Qiion'am quidam temeritate potius quam recta via etiam in superna eriguntur, et 
hsec de Spiiitu Sancto jactitant, quae neque in Scripturis lecta, nee a quoquam ecclesi- 


Such are those whereby his deity and personality are denied. About 
these there have been many contests in the world: some endea- 
vouring with diHgence and subtilty to promote the perverse opi- 
nions mentioned; otliers " 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 believers generally are 
but little edified by them ; for the most are unacquainted with the 
ways and terms of arguing, which are suited to convince or " stop 
the mouths of gainsayers," 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. Espe- 
cially is it so in divine things, and particularly with respect unto 
God himself. In his own glorious being he dwelleth in light, where- 
unto 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 ac- 
quaintance 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^ proposed 
unto us to be known by his properties and works, adjuncts and ope- 
rations; 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 testimonies 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 under- 
taking is, the open and horrible opposition that is made unto the 
Spirit of God and his work in the world. There is no concernment 

asticorum veterum usurpata sunt, compulsi sumus creberrhnse exhortation! fratrum 
cedere, quaaquc sit nostra de eo opinio etiam Scripturarum testimoniis coniprobare; ne 
imperitia tanti dogrnatis, hi qui contraria opponunt dccipiant eos qui sine discussions 
sollicita in adversariorum sententiani statim pertrahuntur." — Didyra de Spir. Sane, 
lib i. 

1 " Appcllatio Spiritus Sancti, et ea quce monstratur ex ipsa appellatione substantia, 
penitiis ab his ignoratur, qui extra sacram Scripturam philosophantur : solummodo 
enim in nostratibus Uteris et notio ejus et vocabulum refertur tarn in nobis quam in 
vcteribus." — Didjm. de Spir. Sane. lib. i. 


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 ascrib- 
ing to them 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, praise-worthy 
in any man, is expressly assigned to the Spirit, as the immediate 
eflficient 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 
pretending 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 [18], 
speak in imitation of a Christian by way of scorn, Aiys, 'rapa too 
Tiviblj^cirog duvafiiv rou Xoyov XaCuiv — " 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 cast^, tamen caut^, 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 endea- 
vour after the participation of his fruits and effects, 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 
mockings, whilst they owned those writings to be of God; — but such 
was his entertainment in the world upon his first effusion, 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 petulancy 
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, 33. 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 raptures 
and revelations, certainly it more became Christians, men professing, 
or at least pretending, a reverence unto God, his Spirit, and his word, 


to manifest to 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 undeniably assigned unto 
him in tlie Scripture, which they despise, what remains to give coun- 
tenance unto this daring profaneness? Yea, but they say, secondly, 
" It is not the real true operations of the Spirit themselves, but the 
false pretensions 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 partakers 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 be- 
lieve in the gospel," and thereon expose them to derision? So plainly 
dealt the Jews with our Lord Jesus Christ, Ps. xxii. 7, 8; Matt. xxi. 
38, 39. It is, therefore, the things themselves, and not the pretences 
pretended, that are the objects of this contempt and reproach. Be- 
sides, 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 com- 
munion with God, and all duties of holy obedience by him, with those 
other effects and operations for which he is promised by Jesus Christ 
unto his disciples? 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 charity 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 exposi- 
tion of those phrases and expressions that are used concerning these 
things in the Scripture, which those others abuse in an unintelligible 
manner, as making them proper which indeed are metaphorical." 
But is this the way which they like and choose to express their no- 


tions 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 ex- 
amined, so far as they have dared to discover them. In the mean- 
time, we know that the Socinians acknowledge a Trinity, the sacri- 
fice 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, support- 
ment which he left unto it in his bodily absence, the only means of 
rendering the work of his mediation effectual in them and among 
them ; for without him all others, as the word, ministry, and ordi- 
nances 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 repeated ; 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 assist- 
ance 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 persons think of the prcyers 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 where- 
in 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 diligently attended unto, 
2 Pet. i. 19. And if traditions be of any use, they can outvie all 
the world. Neither doth this 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 in- 
quiring into it according to the best of their understanding, none 
will question it but those unto whom they and their concernments 
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, according to the best of 
our reasons and understandings, without 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 synagogue 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 trans- 
ported with rage and fury, so as to stir up persecution 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 woidd may see that they are not 
of such importance 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 miscarriages of 

1 " Adcsto Sancte Spiritus, et paraclesin tuam expectantibus illabere caelitus, sanc- 
tifica templum corporis nostri et coiisccra in habitaculum tuum; desideiantes te ani- 
nias tua piaescntia Iretifica, dignam te habitatore domum compone ; adorna thalamum 
tuum, et quietis tuce reclinatorium circumda varietatibus virtutum ; sterne pavimenta 
pigmentis; iiiteat mansio tua carbunculis flammeis, et gemmarum splendoribus ; et 
omnium Chrismatum intriiisccus spirent odoramenta; affiitim balsami liquor fragranti^ 
sua cubiculum suum imbuat ; et abigens inde quicquid tabidum est, quicquid corrup- 
telce scininarium, stabile et perpetuum hoc facias gaudium nostrum, et creationis tuaa 
reuovationem in decore imniarcessibili solides in 83ternum." — Cjpr., de Spir. Sane. 


private persons. When they are received in churches, they are the 
cause of and an entrance into a fatal defection and apostasy. 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 repre- 
sented 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 pecu- 
liar 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 Avere tlieir 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 apostasy 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 gene- 
ration 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 
befell 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 hereunto, God 
at length brought a total desolation upon the whole church, and 
caused the people to be carried into captivity out of their own land; 
and hereby it was so far effected that, upon their return, whatever 
other sins they fell into, yet they kept themselves from idols and 
idolatry, Ezek. xvi. 41-43, xxiii. 27, 48. And the reason hereof was, 
because 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 Israel, 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, aposta- 
tized 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 pro- 
fession of it therein. Matt. xvi. 18, 1.9. In this new church, there- 
fore, this foundation 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 ; John v. 23. And herein all that are duly called 
Christians do agree, as the church of Israel did in one 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 
singularly exalted in the church; unto whom they were so in the 
dark before, that some (none of the worst of them) professed 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 iu 
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 apostasy 
from God. And whatever is found of this nature amongst any, here 
it hath its beginning ; for the sin of despising his person and re- 
jecting his work now is of the same nature with idolatry 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 dis- 
pensation of the grace of God to ensue, in the evangelical work of 
the Holy Ghost, if men sin against him and his operations, contain- 
ing 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 Avere 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 recorded testimony given of old unto the truth of the gospel. 
This is so, indeed, as unto his extraordinary and miraculous opera- 
tions, 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 
Clnist, or yield obedience 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 Cliristianity 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 Scrij)ture 
should be diligently searched in and concerning this great matter; 
for none can deny but that the glory of God, the honour of the gos- 
pel, the faith and obedience of the church, with the everlasting wel- 
fare 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 divine assurance 
which they had of the holy truths delivered unto them, verses 1 7-21. 
In like manner, our Lord Jesus Christ himself having preached the 
doctrine of regeneration unto Nicodemus, he calls it into question, as 
a thing incredible or unintelligible, John iii. 4; for whose instruc- 
tion and the rebuke of his ignorance, he lets him know that he spake 
iiothing but what he brought with him from heaven, — from the 
eternal Fountain of goodness and truth, verses 11-13. It is fallen out 
not much otherwise in this matter. 

The doctrine concerning the Spirit of God, and his work on the 
?ouls of men, hath been preached in the world. What he doth in 
convincing men of sin; what in working godly sorrow and humilia- 
1 ion in them ; what is the exceeding greatness of his power, which 
he puts forth in the regeneration 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 dispensation 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 their peace, comfort, and as- 
sin-ance, of their communion among themselves as the saints of God, 
Y/ith many other ends of their holy conversation, do depend. Nay, 
it is, and hath been constantly, taught them that if there be not 
an effectual work of the Holy Ghost upon their hearts, they " can- 
not enter into the kingdom of God." Now, these things, and what- 
ever is spoken in the explication of them, are by some called in 
question, if not utterly rejected ; yea, some look on them as " cun- 
ningly-devised fables," — things that some not long since invented, 
r.nd others have propagated for their advantage. Others say that 
what is delivered concerning them is hardly, if at all, to be under- 
stood by rational men, being only empty speculations about things 
v/herein 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 de- 
clared 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 can- 
not but be of indispensable necessity unto them to examine and 
search the Scripture diligently 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-de- 
vised fables," their deceived hearts have fed upon ashes, and they 
are yet in their sins. It is, then, of no less consideration and im- ' 
portance than the eternal welfare of their souls immediately con- 
cerned 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 him- 
self," 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 Scripture, that we may be the more fully confirmed and estab- 
lished 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, follow him; but if Baal be God, follow him." If the 
things which the generality of professors do believe and acknow- 
ledge concerning the Spirit of God and his work on their hearts, his 
gifts and graces in the church, with the manner of their communica- 
tion, be for the substance of them (wherein they all generally agree) 
according to the Scripture, taught and revealed therein, on the same 
terms as by them received, then may they abide in the holy profes- 
sion of them, and rejoice in the consolations they have received by 


them; but if these things, with those others which, in the appli- 
cation of them to the souls of men, are directly and necessarily 
deduced, and to be deduced from them, are all but vain and useless 
imaginations, it is high time the minds of men were disburdened of 



Of tlie name of the Holy Spirit — ^Various uses of the words hi'i and vrnV/tct — ^h'\"i 
for the wind or any thing invisible with a sensible agitation, Amos iv. 13— 
Mistakes of the ancients rectified by Hierom — tjl"> 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 removed — Rules concerning the Holy Spirit — The 
name " Spirit," how peculiar and appropriate u-nto 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, explained— 1 John 
iv. 3, vindicated. 

Before we engage into the consideration of the things themselves 
concernhig which we are to treat, it will be necessary to speak some- 
thing unto the name whereby the third person in the Trinity is 
commonly known and peculiarly called in the Scripture. This is 
the "Sphit," 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 Scrip- 
ture where it is used unto other purposes: for it is so that the 
name of the second person, 6 Aoyog, " the Word," and of the third, 
rb U\/su/ji,a, " 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 mani- 
fest its own intention and meaning unto humble and diligent in- 
quirers into it. 

It is, then, acknowledged that the use of the words D'''' and crvsu/Aa 
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 de- 
termined from the subject-matter treated of in them, and other espe- 
cial circumstances 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 needful for the farther clearing 


of the whole matter/ First, In general, D''"' and 'xnZiJ.ec signify a 
tuind or spirit, — that is, any thing which moves and is not seen. So 
the air in a violent a^dtation is called D^l; Gen. viii. 1, Q"''?''!!? "".^V'l 
n^C"''i' O^"! ; — " 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 ntn'Zii.a is used, John iii. 8, To irnXi'Ma oVou ^zku -ttvsT, 
K.T.X., — "Thewind 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 description of this first signification of the word. 
It is an agitation of the air which is unseen. So Ps. i. 4. And in 
tliis sense, sometimes it sionifies a " great and strong wind," — that is, 
PJCJ '^^^"'f Oi"i, 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 sjaring or summer. So Gen. iii. 8, " God walked in 
the garden" CDi'n m?^ "in the 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 occasum, quum frigidus aera vesper 
Temperat." — Virg. Geor. iii. 336. 

*' At the going down of the sun, when the cold evening tempers the 
heat of the air." And some think this to be the sense of that place, 
Ps. civ. 4, "Who maketh his angels riin^i^ spirits," — swift, agile, power- 
ful as mighty winds. But the reader may consult our Exposition on 
Heb. i. 7. 

' " Quia vero Spiritus vocabulura multa significat, enumerandum est breviter quibus 
rebus nomen ejus aptetur. Vocatur spiritus et ventus, sicut in Ezechiele cap. v. : Ter- 
(iam partem dispcrges in spiritum ; lioc est, in ventum. Quod si volueris secundum his- 
toriani illud sent ire, quod scriptum est, J71 spiritii violento conteres naves T hards, non aliud 
ibi spiritus quam ventus accipitur. Nee non Salomon inter multa hoc quoque munus 
u Deo accepit ut sciret violeutias spirituum ; non aliud in hoc se accepisse demon- 
.'■ trans, quam scire rapidos ventorum flatus, et quibus causis eorum natura subsistat. 
"\''ocatur et anima spiritus, ut in Jacobi epistola, Quomodo corpus tuuni sine spiritu mor- 
( 'mm est. Manifestissime enim spiritus hie nihil aliud nisi anima nuncupatur. Juxta 
(juam intelligeutiam Stephanus animam suam spiritum vocans: Bomine, inquit, Jesu, 
fiiscipe spirituvi meiim, Act. vii. Illud quoque quod in Ecclesiaste dicitur, Quis scit an 
spiritus hominis ascendat sursum, et spiritus jumenti descendat deorsum? Eccl. iii. Con- 
siderandum utrumnam et pecudum auima3 spiritus appellentur. Dicitur etiam excepta 
anima, et excepto spiritu nostro, spiritus alius quie esse in homine, de quo Paulus scribit : 
Quis enim scit hominum ea quce sunt hominis, nisi spiritus hominis qui in eo est? 1 Cor. 

ii. 11 Sed et in alio loco idem apostolus a nostro spiritu Spiritum Dei secernens 

iiit. Ipse Spiritus testimonium perhibet spiritui nostro, Eom. viii. ; hoc significans, quod 
Ppiritus Dei, id est, Spiritus Sanctus, testimonium spiritui nostro praebeat, quern nunc 
diximus esse spiritum hominis. Ad Thessalonicenses quoque, Integer, inquit, spiritus 
vester et anima et corpus, 1 Thess. v. — Appellantur quoque supernas rationabilesque vir- 
tutes, quas solct Scriptura angelos et fortitudines nominare, vocabulo spiritus ut ibi, 
Qui fads angelos tuos spiritus; et alibi, Nonne omncs sunt administratores spiritus? Heb. i. 

llationales quoque alia; creaturre, et de bono in malum sponte propria profluentes, 

.si.iiritus pessimi et spiritus appellantur immundi; sicut ibi. Cum autem spiritus im- 
71 und'ts cxicrit ah homine, Matt, xii., et in consequentibus, assumit septem alios spiritus 
7i-'piiores se. Spiritus quoque dsemones in Evangoliis appellantur : sed et hoc notandum, 
iiUiiiiLiaiu siiiipiiciter .^piiilum sed cum aliquo additaiuuuto spiritum siguificari contra- 



This is one signification of the word D'l'', or this is one thing de- 
nclted by it in the Scripture. So, among many other places, expressly 
Amos iv. 13, " For, lo," nn Nnhl nnn ivi^, " he that formeth the 
mountains, and createth the spirit," that is, " the wind." The LXX. 
render this place, ^rspsuv ^povrriv, xai xtI^^uv i:nZiha: — " "Who estab- 
lisheth the thunder, and createth the spirit;" though some copies 
read, ra oV>j, " the mountains." And the next words in the text, 
in^trnDi nnx^ l^ap'i,— " And declareth unto man what is his thought,'' 
they render, Ka/ avayyiXktfjv eig a.v6f'U)'Troug rij* XpiOTov auroiJ, — " And de- 
clareth unto men his Christ," or his Anointed, or his Messiah; for 
they took irT'tJ'Tip for i'~>''P'p, by inadvertency, and not for want of 
points or vowels as some imagine, seeing 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 an- 
nuncians in homines Christum suum;" which Hierom rectified into 
" Formans monies, et creans ventum, et annnntians homini eloquium 
suum," discovering in his comment the mistake of the LXX. But it 
is certain that, from the ambiguity of the word D^"" 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 in- 
sisted on it to prove him a creature; as may be seen in Didymus, 
Ambrose, Hierom, Hilary, and the ancients generally. But the 
context determines the signification of the word beyond all just ex- 
ceptions. It is the power of God in making and disposing of things 

rium, Tit spiritus immundus et spiritus dgemotiis ; hi vero qui sancti sunt spiritus abs- 
que ullo additamento spiritus simpliciter appellantur. Sciendum quoque quod nomen 
spiritus et voluntatem tiominis et animi sententiam sonet. Volens quippe apostolus 
virginem non solum corpore sed et mente sanctam esse, id est, non tantum corpore, sed. 
et motu cordis interno, ait, Ut sit sancta corpore el spiritu, 1 Cor. vii., voluntatem spiritu, 
et corpore opera, significans. Considera uti-um hoc ipsum in Esaia sonet quod scriptum 

est, Et scient qtii spiritu errant intelkctum, Isa. xxix. 24 Et super omnia vo- 

cabulum spiritus, altiorem et mysticum in Scripturis Sanctis significat intellectum ; ut 
ibi, Litera oceidit, spiritus autem vivijicat, 2 Cor. iii. — Hsec juxta possibilitatem nostri in- 
genii, quot res spiritus .significet, attigimus. — Nonnunquam autem spiritus et Dominus 
noster Jesus Christus, id est, Dei Filius, appellatur : Dominus autem spiritus est, ut ante 
diximus: ubi etiam illud adjunximus, spiritus Dens est, non juxta nominis communi- 
onem, sed juxta naturae substantiagque consortium. — Porro ad haec necessario devoluti 
sumus, ut quia frequenter appellatio spiritus, in Scripturis est respersa divinis, non 
labamur in nomine sed unumquodque secundum locorum varietates et intelligentias ac- 
cipiamus. Omni itaque studio ac diligentia vocabulum Spiritus, ubi et quomodo appel- 
latum sit contemplantes, sophismata eorum et fraudulentas decipulas conteramus, qui 
Spiritum Sanctum asserunt creaturam. Legentes enim in propheta, Effo sum firmans 
tonitruum, et creans spiritum, Amos iv. 13, ignorantia multiplicis in hac parte sermonis 
putaverunt Spiritum Sanctum ex hoc vocabulo demonstrari ; cum in praesentiarum spiri- 
tus nomen ventum sonet Ergo ut pra3locuti sumus, quomodo unumquodque 

dictum sit, consideremus ne forte per ignorantiam ia barathrum decidamus erroris." — 
Didym. de Spir. Sane. lib. iii. 

1 So the word is constantly given by Owen. The i is uniformly elided from modern 
editions of the Hebrew Scriptures, and the word stands thus il-!^-n'3_ The origin of 
the mistake to which Owen refers is more apparent from the way in which the word is 
printed, but the insertion of the "^ seems without authority. — Ed. 

YOL. III. 4 

50 THE na:me and titles [book I. 

here' below, whetlier 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 daij, 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 necessity there is 
of searching the original text in the interpretation of the Scriptures, 
as it might be evidenced by a thousand other instances ; but one 
we may take from two great and learned men, who were contempo- 
raries 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, lib. ii. cap. 6, being deceived by the coiTupt 
translation mentioned, "Annuncians in homines Christum suuni," 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, he can 
scarce free himself of the objection 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 Dominica mysteria dictum facilius derivabit. Nam si te 
movet quia Spiritum dixit, et hoc non putas derivandum ad myste- 
rium assumptionis humanse ; prosequere scripturas et invenies optima 
congruere de Christo, de quo bene convenit sestimari, quia firmavit 
tonitrua adventu suo; vim videlicet et sonum coelestium scriptura- 
rum; quarum velut quodam tonitru mentes nostra redduntur atto- 
nitse, ut timere discamus, et reverentiam coelestibus deferamus ora- 
■culis. Denique, in Evangelio fratres Domini filii tonitru dicebantur. 
Et cum vox Patris facta esset dicentis ad Filium, ' Et honorificavi te, 
et iterum honorificabo,' Judsi dicebant, 'Tonitruum factum est illi.'" 
And hereon, with some observations to the same purpose, he adds, 
"Ergo tonitrua ad sermones Domini retulit, quorum in omnem ter- 
ram exivit sonus; Spiritum aiitem hoc loco an imam, quam suscepit 
rationabilem et perfectam intelligimus." The substance of his dis- 
course is, that treating of Christ (who indeed is neither mentioned 
nor intended in the text), he speaks of "confirming the thunder" 
(which nowhere here appears), by which the sound of the Scriptures 
and preaching of the word is intended ; the spirit that was created 
beinof the human soul of Jesus Christ. Nor was he alone in this 
interpretation. Didym, lib. ii. de Spiritu Sancto, Athanas. ad Se- 
Tapion., Basil lib. iv. contra Eunom., amongst the Grecians, are in 
like manner entangled with this corruption of the text; as was also 
Concil. Sardicen. in Socrat. lib. il cap. 20. 


The other person intended is Hierom, who, consulting the original, 
as he was well able to do, first translated the words, "Quia ecce for- 
mans monies, et ereans ventum, et annuncians homini eloquium 
suum," declares the mistake of the LXX. and the occasion of it: — 
"Pro montibus qui Hebraic^ dicuntur ^^D, soli LXX. jSpovrriv, id 
est, tontitruum, verterunt. Cur autem illi Spiritum et nos dixeri- 
mus ventum, qui Hebraice D^"i vocatur, causa manifesta est : quod- 
que sequitur, 'Annuncians homini eloquium suum,' LXX. transtule- 
runt, '' KitayyiKkm slg avSpu'Trovg rov XpiffTov airoS, verbi similitudiue, et 
ambiguitate decepti.'' So he shows that it is not i^'';^'0 in the text, 
but irT'tmp 5 — that is, saith he, "juxta Aquilam, o/nXlc^v aurou* Sym- 
machum, to pai^>;/a.a auroC' juxta Theodotionem, rov Xoyov auroE/" juxta 
quintam editionem, ttiv adoXie^lav aWov. 

And as DV, whence the word is, signifies both to meditate and to 
speak, so the word itself intends a conceived thought, to be spoken 
afterward. And that S here is reciprocal, not relative. And to this 
purpose is his ensuing exposition, "Qui confirmat monies, ad cujus 
vocem coelorum cardines et terrse fundamenta quaiiuntur. Ipse qui 
creat spiritum, quem in hoc loco non Spiritum Sanctum, ut hsere- 
tici suspicantur, sed ventum intelligimus, sive spiritum hominis, an- 
nuncians homini eloquium ejus, qui cogitationum secreta cognoscit," 
Hieron. in loc. 

Secondly, Because the wind, on the account of its unaccountable 
variation, inconstancy, and changes, is esteemed vain, not to be ob- 
served or trusted unto, — whence the wise man tells us that "he that 
observeth the wind shall not sow," Eccles. xi. 4, — the word is used 
metaphorically to signify vanity: Eccles. v. 16, "What profit hath he 
that hath laboured nn^^ for the wind?" So Mic. ii. 11, •" If a man 
walk" ip'^ 0^"*, "with the wind a-ndi falsehood ;" — that is, in vanity, 
pretendiug to a spirit of prophecy ; and falsehood, vainly, foolishly, 
falsely boasting. So Job xv. 2, "Should a wise man utter" D^ nj?"!^ 
"knowledge of wind?" vain words, with a pretence of knowledge 
and wisdom ; and he calls them D1"i '''?3'7, "words of wind," chap. xvi. 3. 
So also Jer. v. 18, "And the prophets shall become D^lf, wind," 
or be vain, foolish, uncertain, and false, in their predictions. But 
'!rvivju,a is not used thus metaphorically in the New Testament. 

Thirdly, By a metonymy, also, it signifies any part or quarter, 
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 •^C''"', 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" O^n '?^^, "into 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, 


nin=n J??")^^ l Chron. ix. 24; whence are the rsgffupsg anfioi, "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 [a] determinate sense. 

Again, [Fourthly], These words are used for any thing that cannot 
he seen or touched, be it in ii&QM 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 niTJIO^J 
£3\*n, " the breath of the spirit of life," Gen. vii. 22,— that vital breath 
which our lives are maintained by in respiration. So Ps. cxxxv. 17; 
Job xix. 17; which is a thing material or corporeal. But most fre- 
quently it denotes things purely spiritual and immaterial, as in finite 
substances it signifies the rational soul of man : Ps. xxxi, 5, " Into 
thine hand I commit" ""'^l"', that is, "my spirit," They are the words 
whereby our Saviour committed his departing soul into the hands of 
.his Father, Luke xxiii. 46, rh -Trvtv/Md [lov. So Ps. cxlvi. 4, ^nn ^y:r\^ 
— " His breath," say we, " goeth forth ; he returneth to his eaith." 
It is his soul and its departure from the body that is intended. This 
is t^^^^n ""Jii nn^ that "spirit of the sons of man that goeth upward,'' 
when the "spirit of a beast goeth downward to the earth," or turneth 
to corruption, 'Eccles. iii. 21 : see chap. viii. 8, xii. 7. Hence, — 

Fifthly, 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" 
Dnn "iHKj "after their own spirit," — that is, their own desires and in- 
clinations, — when, indeed, they had no vision, but spake what they 
had a mind unto. Num. xiv. 24, Caleb is said to have "another spirit" 
than the murmuring people, — another mind, will, purpose, or resolu- 
tion. It is taken for prudence. Josh. v. 1 ; anger, or the irascible 
faculty, Eccles. vii. 9 ; fury, Zech. vi. 8. " He shall cut off the spirit 
of princes" [Ps. Ixxvi. 12]; that is, their pride, insolency, and con- 
tempt of others, Ilvsu/Aa 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 ; — and ofttimes is taken for the mind 
in all its inclinations, in its whole habitual bent and design, 1 Thess. 
V. 23. 

[Sixthly], Angels also are called spirits: — good angels, Ps. civ. 4; 
(and it may be an angel is intended, 1 Kings xviiL 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 appeared before God, Job 
i. 6, 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.* And be- 
cause evil spirits 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 melan- 
choly 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 discover- 
ing 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 
notwithstanding 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,^ as one 
singular, and every way distinct from every thing else that is occa- 
sionally or constantly signified or denoted by that word "Spirit." And 
this not only a multitude 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 un- 
derstood 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 fro«i 
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 unin- 
telligible and useless. Secondly, That whatever is affirmed of this 
Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, it ^11 relates either to his person or 
his operations, and these operations of his being various^ are some- 
times, 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 occa- 
sions is signified by that name; for this is acknowledged by all that 
acknowledge the Scriptures, yea, it is so by Jews and Mohammedans, 
as well as all sorts of Christians. And, indeed, all those false appre- 
hensions 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 

' " Discant (homines) Scripturse sanctae consuetudinem, nunquam spiritum perver- 
eum absolute, sed cum additamento aliquo spii-itum nuncupari : sicut ibi, Spiritu forni- 
cationis seducti sunt; et in Evaiigelio, Cum autem siuitm immundus ezierit de homine; 
et csetera his similia." — -Hieron. Comment, in Ilab cap, ii. 

2 " Qui Spiritum negavit, et Deum Patrem negavit et Filium : quoniam idem est Spi- 
ritus Dei, qui ISpiritus Christi est," cap. 3. " Unum autem esse Spiritum nemo dubitave- 
rit; etsi de uno Deo plerique dubitaverunt," cap. 4. — Ambros. de Spir. Sane. lib. i. 


of God; wliich conceit is entertained and diligently promoted by the 
Socinians. 2. That of the Mohammedans, who make him an emi- 
nent angel, and sometimes say it is Gabriel; which, being traduced 
from the Macedonians of old, hath found some defenders and pro- 
moters in our days. 

This, then, bemg the name of him concerning whom we treat, 
some things concerning it and the use of it, as peculiarly applied unto 
him, are to be premised:^ for sometimes he is called the " Spirit" ab- 
solutely; 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 "holiness;" sometimes the "Spirit of Christ" 
or "of the Son." The first absolutely used denotes his person; the 
additions express 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 a pwre, spiritual, or immaterial sub- 
stance; for neither the Hebrews nor the Greeks can express such a 
being in its subsistence but by Dl"* and rrvev/j^a, a spirit. Nor is this 
name, firstly, given unto the Holy Spirit in allusion unto the wind 
in its subtilty, agility, and efficacy;^ for these things have respect 
only unto his operations, wherein, from some general appearances, 
his works and effects are hkened 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, John iv. 24, IIvgD/ia 6 @s6g- — " 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 design of the place to evince. It will there- 
fore 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;'* and therefore the name 

' "Ovo/ua avrau ^viv//.a ayiii, TviVf^a aXnhlas, <Tyiv//.a tov Slav, vyiv/ia xvpiov, "jrvivfio, 
rau TiaTpoe, rrynuf/.a Xpimij, xeci ou'ru x,aX{i auTOV h 'ypatpri. MaX>.«» il uiro taura itai 
vtv%Zi/.a tdiou, xa.) cTviufict to i» Tov &iiu. — Chrysost. de Adoiand. Ibpir. 

2 Crell. Prolcgom. 

* " Sanctificationis bonitatisque Tocabulum, et ad Patrem, et ad Filkiin, et ad Spi- 
ritum Sanctum seque refertur; sicut ipsa quoque appellatio Spiritus. Nam et Pater 
Spiritus dicitur ut ibi, Spiritus est Deus, Joan. iv. l!4. Et Filius Spiritu.s, Dominus, 
inquit, Spiritus ejus, 2 Cor. iii. 17. Spiritus autem Sanctus semper Spiritus Sanctiap- 
pellatione censetur; non quod ex consortio tantum nominis Spiiitus cum I'atre pona- 
tur et Filio, sed quod unanatura unum possideat et nomen." — Didym. de Spir. Sane, 
lib. iii. 

* " Multa sunt tcstimonia, quibus hoc evidenter ostenditur, et Patris et Filii ipsura 
esse Spiritum, qui in Trinitate dicitur Spiritus Sanctus. Nee ob aliud existimo ip- 
sum proprie vocari Spiritum, cum etiam si de singulis intcrrogemm-, non possimus 
non Patrem et Filium Spiritum dicere; quoniam Spiritus est Deus, id est, non Corpus 
est Deus sed Spiritus; hoc proprie vocari oportuit eum, qui non est unus eorum, sed 
in quo communitas apparet ambomm." — August. Tractat. xcix. in Johan. 


"Spirit" is not, in the first place, characteristical of the third person in 
the Trinity, but denotes that nature whereof each person is partaker. 
But, moreover, as it is pecuharly and constantly ascribed unto him, 
it declares his especial manner and order of existence; so that 
wherever 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 continual emanation from him, and yet is never 
separated utterly 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 those 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 temporary. Hence, their disagreement is infinitely 
more than their agreement ; yet such allusions doth our -weakness need 
instruction from and by. Thus he is called "fS H^"', Ps. xxxiii. 6, " The 
Spirit " or " breath of the mouth of the Lord," or " of his nostrils;" 
as Ps. xviii. 15, wherein there is an eminent 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 else- 
where. 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 unto his dis- 
ciples by breathing on them: John xx. 22, 'EvKpusrias- and because in 
our first creation it is said of Adam that God Ci^?n ni^'f: VSXB m\ 
" breathed into his nostrils the breath of life," Gen. ii. 7. He hath 
the same appellation with respect unto God, Ps. xviii. 15. Thus is 
he called the " Spirit." And because, as we observed before, the word 
Tvevfji^a is variously used, Didymus, de Spiritu Sancto, lib. iii., supposeth 
that the prefixing of the article rh doth distinguish the signification, 
and confine it to the Holy Ghost in the New Testament. Ofttimes 
no doubt it doLh so, but not always, as is manifest from John iii. 8, 
where to is joined with 'zvivfia, and yet only signifies " the wind." But 
the subject treated of, and what is affirmed of him, will sufficiently 
determine the signification of the word, where he is called absolutely 
" The Spirit." 

Again; He is called, by way of eminency, the Holy Spirit, or the 
Holy Ghost} This is the most usual appellation of him in the New 
Testament; and it is derived from the Old: Ps. li. 11, ^f^i? 0^"!, 

' " Avahv ■yra.fia, 0i«u xaTiauira, It) toIis cLyhfo,; aylaui 'Scof-id, »v •rvsUjita ayiov ivufio.l^oua'iti ei 
lifo) ■rf.efriTo.i. — Justin Mart. 


" The Spirit of thy Holiness," or " Thy Holy Spirit." Isa. Ixiii. 10, 
11, iti'l^ nn._" The Spirit of his Holiness," or " His Holy Spirit." 
Hence are ^'ni^L" L"" and tJ^npn nn^ "The Holy Spirit," and "The 
Spirit of Holiness," in common use amcmg the Jews. In the New 
Testament he is to Uvsv/jja rl "Ayiov, "That Holy Spirit." And v:e 
must inquire into the special reasons of this 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 pro- 
fane 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 manifeststli him to be God, for it is 
God alone who sanctifieth his people: Lev, xs. 8, "I am Jehovah 
which sanctify you." And God in that work ascribes unto himself 
the title of Holy in an especial m.anner, and as such would have us 
to consider him : chap. xxi. 8, " I the LoED, which sanctify you, 
am holy." And this may be one reriRon of the frequent use of this 
property with reference unto the Spirit. 

But this is not the whole reason of this name and appellation : for 
where he is first so mentioned, he is called " The Spirit of God's Holi- 
ness," Ps. li. 11, Isa. Ixiii. 10, 11; and in the New Testament ab- 
solutely " The Spirit of Holiness," Rom. i. 4 And this respects his 
nature, in the first place, and not merely his operations.^ As God, 
then, absolutely is called " Holy," " The Holy One," and " The Holy 
One of Israel," ] eiug therein described by that glorious property 
of his nature whereby he is "glorious in holiness," Exod. xv. 1?., 
and whereby he is distinguished from all false gods, (" Who is like 
unto thee, O Jehovah, among the gods? who is like 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 Ghost hath never forgiveness: 
because they said, He hath an unclean spirit." And herein first his 
personality is asserted; for the 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 coraparativo 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 

AtyfTKi rtivvv vrnuftm ayiov. A.l'rtt yap lirriv ft xupia xxi VfuTn •rpoiTti'ytipio!. ii i/i.^a.^irixu' 
vtfa* 'ix'ti(Ta, <r»i> hai/oiav, xai ■npurra^a mu ayiou •xnuiixra; Tti' (fistv. — Chrysost. ub. Sup, 


regeneration and sanctifi cation, or making of us holy, but unto all 
his works and operations, that he is so termed : for he being the im- 
mediate 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," [Hos. xi. 9], 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 Spirit to 
harden and blind obstinate sinners, as well as to sanctify 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, 9-12; John xil 40; Acts xxviii. 25, 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 1 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 verse 23, " The evil spirit from God 
was upon Saul." So chap, xviii. 10, xix. 9. This spirit is called, 
nj?n D\"i7X"n'n^ — " an evil spirit of God," chap. xvi. 15 ; and absolutely 
'2'''i''.^"D^"i, — "a spirit of God," verse 23, where we have supplied "evil" 
in the translation. But these expressions are to be regulated and 
explained by verse 14, where he is called '"'i'TI nso nyynn^ — «an evil 
spirit from the LORD;" that is, appointed and commissioned by 
him for the punishing and terrifying of Saul: for as the Spirit of 
the Lord departed from him, by withdrawing his assistance and in- 
fluential 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, chap. x. 6-9 ; so 
the evil spirit came upon him to excite out of his own adust melan- 
choly, discontents, fears, a sense of guilt, as also to impress terrifying 
thoughts and apprehensions on his imagination; for so it is said, " An 
evil spirit fr'om the Lord" ^^^V^, chap, xvi 14, " terrified him," 


frightened him with dreadful agitations of mind. And, that we 
may touch a httle 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 th»- house." 1 Sam. xviii. 10, 
which argues an extraordinary and involunta tf effect upon him, — yet 
principally he wrought by the excitation and provocation of his per- 
sonal distempers, moral and natural ; for these have in themselves a 
great efScacy in cruciating the minds of guilty persons. So Tacitus 
observes out of Plato, Annal. lib. vi. 6, " Neque frustra prsestan- 
tissimus sapientiffi firmare solitus est, si recludantur tyrannorum 
mentes, posse aspici laniatus et ictus; quando, ut corpora verberibus, 
ita ssevitia, 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. ix., 
where Socrates disj)utes sundry things to that purpose. And 
another Roman historian gives us a signal instance hereof in Ju- 
gurtha, after he had contracted the guilt of many horrible wicked- 

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 an holy one" that 
in such a case smote Nebuchadnezzar with a sudden madness and 
frenz}^, Dan. iv. 13-17. 

To return; As he is called the Holy, so he is the Good Spirit of 
God: Ps. cxliii. 10, '^r}m nnito ^nn;_" 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 ']^1'^P,—" The 
good Spirit of thy holiness," or " Thy holy good Spirit." Didymus, 
lib. ii. de Spir. Sane, says that some copies here read to dyiov, a re- 
membrance whereof is in the MS. of Q'hecla, and not elsewhere. 
So Neh. ix. 20, " Thou gavest them" nnirsn ^nn^ "thy good Spirit 
to instruct them." And he is called so principally from his na- 
ture, which is essentially good, as " there is none good but one, 
that is, God," Matt. xix. 17; as also from his operations, which are all 

^ " Neque post id locorum Jugurthse dies aut nox ulla quieta fuere : neque loco, ne- 
que mortali cuiquam, aut tempori, satis credere: civis, hostis, juxta metuere: cir- 
cumspectare omnia, et onini strepitu pavescere : alio atque alio loco, sa^pe contra decus 
regium requiesccre : interdum, somno excitus arrcptis armis tumultum facere: ita for- 
inidine, quasi vecordia, agitari." — Bell. Jugur. Ixxii. 


|i good as they are holy ; and unto them that believe are full of good- 

■ ness in their effects. Crell. Prolegom., p. 7, distinguisheth 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 
i government, that were granted unto many of the people of old. So 
i it is said of Bezaleel, that he was " filled with the Spirit of God, in 

■ wisdom, and understanding, and in knowledge," Exod. xxxi. 8; so 
; XXXV. 31 ; — " That is," saith he, " with this ' good Spirit of God.'" So 
; also, it is pretended, in all those places where the Sj)irit of God is said 
I to " come on " men to enable them unto some great and extraordinary 
• work, as Judges iii. ] 0. But this is plainly to contradict 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 
j pleaseth, 1 Cor. xii. 6, 11. And if from every different or distinct effect 
I 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.^ 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," Ps. cxliii. 10. Now, cer- 
tainly, this was no other but that Holy Spirit which he prays in an- 
other place that the Lord would not take from him: Ps. 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 
i Spirit this Avas Peter declares, 2 Epist. i. 21, "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, Ci'^ripx mi^ 
" The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." And I doubt 
not but that the name '^''r'''?, " Elohim," 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 as 
Elohim 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 

• " Nemo suspicetur alium Spiritum Sanctum fuisse in Sanctis, nimirum ante adven- 
tum Domini, et alium in apostolis CEeterisque discipulis, et quasi homonymura in differ- 
entibus esse substantiis; possumus quidem testimonia de divinis Uteris exliibere, quia 
idem Spiritus et in apostolis et in prophetis fuerit. Paulus in epistola quam ad He- 
brteos scribit, de Fsahiiuiinu volumine testimonium proferens, a Spiritu Sancto id dic- 
tum esse commemorat." — Didym. de Spir. Sane. lib. L 


God;" for the name of " God" in those enunciations is taken person- 
ally f<-ir the -Fntiier,— that is, God the Father, the Father of Christ, 
and our Father, John xx. 17. And he is thus termed uvoerariKuc, 
upon the account of the order and nature of personal subsistence and 
distinction in thfe holy Trinity. The person of the Father being 
" fons et origo Trinitatis," the Son is from him by eternal genera- 
tion, 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 from him by eternal 
procession or emanation. Henct^ is that relation of his to God even 
the Father, whence he is called the " Spirit of God." And he is not 
only called Uviu/jua. rov Qsou, the " Spirit of God," but n^sD/za to ix rou 
Qsou, " the Spu it that is of God," which proceedeth from him as a 
distinct person.^ 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 supposition he is also called, secondly, " The Spirit of 
God" bia.y.piTiztjg^ 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 in- 
stances hereof will be afterward considered. But these appellations 
of him have their foundation in his eternal relation unto the Father, 
before mentioned. 

On the same account originally, he is also called the Spirit of the 
Son: " God hath sent forth the Spirit of the Son into your hearts," 
Gal iv. 6 ;— and the Spirit of Christ: " What time the Spirit of Christ 
which was in them did signify," 1 Pet. i. 11. So Rom. viii. 9, " But 
j-e 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."' 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 infer- 
ence taken from the words foregoing, " If so be that the Spirit of 
God dwell in you." And this Spirit of Christ, verse 11, is said to be 
the "Spirit of him that raised up Christ 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 

*irayu „ yj,u<f„ to ^viv^x ri ^y,„, xa-J ^f.^r'J-^^, - roZ SioZ, ro Ix. @toZ. "AXX. Ti to tov 
ei«y «a, aXXoT. U eioS. S.,Z ^iv yip ovfccvos *ai y^j ^- „\p avri ^i^„>,f.iva. 'E» 

eiei/ ii .i/«,v Kiyira,, i< fih S Ik t»s ovrla; j<rT;.— Chrysost. de Spir. Sane. 

» Ef^y ^vivfccc _Hi,D c!Ki7 i, b,^iy,-;% ^v£D^« Q^oZ. " E/ Vi t/; -rnZf^o, Xp<froZ ch^ i^i'," 
Kx, ,ziv ix:r,, u-ruv, t, li r,i rrnZ/ict SuZ ouk 'iy^t,, <iA.X' sT^ ^vsD/ta y.(iiTToZ. ET« %ioZ 

*»..,««._ ,a, ,^,yayt ro ^nv^x roZ Xp.^rcZ. El li r,( 'xnZf.a. ^f.^ToZ oIk 'ixu, cSroi oIk 

Ut,, avrov, aXXarovro .,^£v, iW St/^j, "or, h ^nZf^a, k«.\ iV»v Urh u^iT, xvCvu.cc OicZ, x»i 

vnK/ia XfiffTcv. — lulu. 


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 rea- 
son 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 accomplish his work towards the clmv-jh. 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 dispensation of 
the divine persons towards us ariseth from the order of their own 
subsistence in the same divine essence; and if the Spirit did pro- 
ceed 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 show. 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 is anointed 
with his gifts and graces; for although believers are so, as to mea- 
sure and degree, unspeakably beneath what Christ was, who received 
not the Spirit by measure, yet as he is the head and they are the 
members of the same mystical body, their imction 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 
^Taces. David prays, " Take not thy Holy Spirit from me," — not " tny 
Holy Spirit." And he is distinguished 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" be- 
cause 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 pro- 
mise of the Father: for so he is introduced speaking, verse 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 Com- 
forter, even the Spirit of truth," John xiv. 16, 17. Nor is he other- 
wise the Spirit of Christ, originally and formally, but as he is the 
Spu'it of God, — that is, as Christ is (Jod also. On this supposition I 


grant, as before, that he may consequently be called the " Spirit of 
Christ," because i^roniised 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 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." 
And this Spirit is said absolutely to "be the " Holy Ghost," 2 Pet. 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 hy that Spirit, or because he gave 
it afterward to his disciples; for his human nature did not exist in 
the time of their prophesying. 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 respect 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 intended, 
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 concerning 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 spake by him treated wholly of God, the things and 
the will of God ? This they will not say, for they acknowledge 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 " Spu-it 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 ir the prophets be called the "Spirit 
of Christ" only because he did beforehand declare the things of Christ, 


• — that is, his " sufferings and the glory that did follow/* — and that 
he the sole reason of that denomination, then the sense or import- 
ance of the words is this, " Searching what or what manner of time 
the Spirit — ' which did signify when it testified beforehand the suffer- 
ings of Christ' — which was in them did signify when he testified be- 
forehand the sufferings of Christ;" for according to this interpre- 
tation, 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 Scrip- 
ture from 1 John iv. 3, "Every spirit that confessetb not that 
Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God : and this is that of 
antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even 
now already is it in the world;" — for say some, " The spirit of anti- 
christ 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 anti- 
christ 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 these 
words, " Whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now 
already is it in the world," are to be interpreted of the spirit mentioned, 
and not of antichrist 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 expressions. Besides, the spirit of anti- 
christ 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 doc- 
trine, — antichristian doctrine, which is to be tried and rejected. 
Neither is any singular person intended by antichrist, but a myste- 
rious 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 perverting and 
wresting of that other expression concerning the Spirit of Christ in 
the prophets of old. This, therefore, is the formal reason of this ap- 
pellation : The Holy Spirit is called the " Spirit of the Son," and the 
" Spirit of Christ," upon the account of his procession or emanatiou 


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 deuominated 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 suhsistcmce 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 progress. 



Ends of our consideration of tho dispensation of the Spirit — Principles premised 
thereunto — The nature of God the foundation of all religion — Divine revela- 
tion gives the rule and measure of religious worship — God hath revealed him- 
self as three in one — Distinct actings and operations ascribed unto these dis- 
tinct person ; thtrefore the Holy Spirit a divine distinct person — Double 
opposition to the Holy Spirit — By some his personality granted and his deity 
denied — His jiersonality denied by the Socinians — Proved against them — The 
open vanity of their pretences — Matt, xxviii. J 9, pleaded — Appearance of 
the Spirit under the shape of a dove explained and improved — His appear- 
ance as fire opened — Ilis personal subsistence proved — Personal properties 
assigned unto him — Underftandiiig— Argument from hence pleaded and vin- 
dicated—A will— John iii. 8, James iii. 4, cleared — Exceptions removed — 
Power— Other personal ascriptions to him, with testimonies of them, vindi- 
cated and explained. 

We shall now proceed to the matter itself designed unto considera- 
tion, — namely, the dispensation of the Spirit of God unto the church ; 
fuid I shall endeavour to fix what I have to offer upon its proper 
l)riuciples, 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 \^^hole and each part of it; for 
these are the immediate ends of all divine revelations, according to 
tliat holy maxim of our blessed Saviour, "If ye know these things, 
happy are ye if ye do them." To this end the ensumg principles 
are to be observed: — 

First, The nature and being of God is :he foundation of all true 
religion and holy religious worship 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 both furnished them withal, Rev. iv. 11. And that which makes 



this worship indispensably necessary unto ns, 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-siibsisting, 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 worship- 
ped 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 [are we] to trust and fear, and so to resign ourselves 
and all our concernments unto his will and disposal ; to regard hitn with 
all the acts of our minds and persons, answerably to the holy proper- 
ties and excellencies 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. 86. "Believing that God thus 
is, and that he is a rewarder of tbem that diligently seek him," is the 
ground of all coming unto God in his worship, 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 glorify 
him not as God," Rom, i. 19-21. 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 exer- 
cise it towards any. And this God instructs us in, in all those places 
where he proclaims his name and describes his eternal excellencies, 
and that either absolutely or in comparison with other things. All 
is, that we may know him to be such a one as is to be worshipped 
and glorified for liimself, or his own sake. 

Secondly, The revelation that God is pleased to make of himself 
unto us gives the ride and measure of all religious worship and 
obedience. His being, absolutely considered, as comprehending in it 
all infinite, divine perfections, is the formal reason of our worship; 
but this worship is to be directed, guided, regulated, by the revela- 
tion he makes of that being and of those excellencies unto us. This, 
is 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 pro- 
perties unto us, by his works or his word, our worship consisteth in a 
due application of our souls unto him according to that manifestation 
of liimself. 

Thirdly, God hath revealed or manifested himself as three in one, 
and, therefore, as such is to be worshipped and glorified 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 ob\nated, 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 pro- 
fession begins with their relinquishment of this foundation. It is 
now evident unto all that here hath been the fatal miscarriac^e 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 importance. 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 confir- 
mation 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 re- 
ward which I did always expect. For the present I shall only say, 
that on this supposition, that God hath revealed himself as three in 
one, he is in all our worship of him so to be considered. And, there- 
fore, 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, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," 
Matt, xxviii. 19. This is the foundation of our doing all the things that 
Christ commands us, as verse 2p. 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 jJersons are so distinct in their peculiar subsist- 
ence that distinct actings and operations are ascribed unto them. 
And these actmgs are of two sorts:-l. 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, in- 


separable 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 
knowledge and love of the other: John iii. 35, "The Father loveth 
the Son, and hath given all things into his hand." Chap, 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 Sou." 
John vl 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 expressed at large, Prov. viii. 22-31 ; which ip];\ce 
I have opened and vindicated elsewhere. And they are absolute, in- 
finite, 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 blessedness of the holy God. Again, 2. There are dis- 
tinct 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 conde- 
scension. So the Father gives, sends, commands the Son, as he had 
condescended to take our nature upon him, and to be the mediator 
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 plea- 
sure of God, and might not have been, without the least diminution 
of his eternal blessedness. (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 instances. 
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, poiuer/ul, intelligent, divine 
person; for none other can be the author of those internal and ex- 

1 « In hac divini magisterii schola, Pater est qui docet et instruit ; Filius qui arcana 
Dei nobis revelat et aperit; Spiritus Sanctus qui nos replet et imbuit. A Pat re po- 
tentiam, a Filio sapientiam, a Spiritu Sancto accipimus innocentiam. Pater eligit, filius 
diligit, Spiritus Sanctus conjungit et uuit."--Cypr. de Baptismo Christi. 


tcrnal 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 inquire 
who and what that one and self-same Spirit is, seeing on him and 
his will all these things do depend. And we do know, likewise, that 
if men prevail in the opposition they make unto his person, it is to 
no great purpose to concern ourselves in his operations; for the 
foundation of any fabric being taken away, the superstructure will be 
of no use nor abide. 

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 
IMacedonian heretics of old, and they are now followed by the Mo- 
hammedans; 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 destroying the church of God, do utterly reject this plea 
and pretence. 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 per- 
sonality, 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 thens.' I do not design here pro- j 
fessodly to contend with them about all the concernments of this 
diflference; for there is nothing of importance in all their pretences 
or exceptions, but it will in one place or other occur unto considera- 

' "_' Hsec autera omnia opcratur unus atque idem Spiritus, dividens singulis prout 
vult; undcdicentcs opcratricem, et ut ita dicam, distributricem naturam Spiritus 
^anc 1, non abducamur ab his qui dicunt, operationem et non substantiam Dei esse 
V:P!"*"™ ^''"<=*V'"\.. * ex ahis quoque plurimis locis subsistens nature demonstratur 
bpintus bancti. — Didjm. de Spir. Sane. lib. ii. 


tion in our progress. I shall only at present confirm the divine per- 
sonality of the Holy Ghost with one argument ; which I will not say 
is such as no man can return the show of an answer unto, — for what 
is it that the serpentine wits of men will not pretend an answer unto, 
or 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 strengthen- 
ing of whose faith is all that in it I do aim at. And if it do not 
imto 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 proposed, 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^ himself, and sometimes his gifts and graces, the 
effects of his operations on the souls of men. And this our adver- 
saries 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 properties, attributes, adjuncts, acts, and 
operations, are ascribed, and unto whom they do belong, and to whom 
nothing is or can be truly and propey-ly ascribed but what may 
and doth belong unto a iierson, 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 Gt)d, which are in 
themselves absolutely incomprehensible. Now, T 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 may be found in an 
infinite divine nature but it is in one place or other ascribed unto him. 

* ''ETiiSnTip ro oupov/Lcivov to Ttvivfun to uyiov Iffri, xccXurai kcci to dZpov i[yi,uivi/.tds Tea 
p^api(rf^%Ti — Chrysost. 

" Nee existiiiiare dcbemus Spiritum Sanctum secundum substantias esse divisum 
quia multitude boHorum dicatur, — impassibilis enira et indivisibilis atque immutabilis 
est, sed juxta diff'erentes efficientias et intellectus multis bonorum vocabulis nuncu- 
patur ; quia participes suos, non juxta unam eandemque virtutem communione sui 
uouet, quippe cum ad utilitatem uniuscuj usque aptus sit." — Didym. lib. i. 


There is no exception can be laid against the force of this argu- 
ment, but only that some things, on the one hand, are ascribed unto 
the Spuit 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 after- 
ward. What then? shall we say that he is not a person, but only the 
2)otuer of God? Will this render those expressions 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 acknowledge that these expressions are figurative, as 
many things are so expressed of God in the Scripture, and that fre- 
quently, and what is the meaning of them under their figurative 
colours we shall afterward declare. This, therefore, doth not in the 
least impeach our argument, unless this assertion were true gene- 
rally, 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. 7. But every one 
presently apprehends that this expression is figurative, the abstract 
being put for the concrete by a metalepsis, 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 actings ; 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 Uie fields, with the trees of the forest, to "sing" and "clap 
their hands," by a prosopopoeia. Now, concerning these things there 
is no danger of mistake. The light of reason and their own nature 
tlierein do give us a sufficient understanding of them; and such 
figurative expressions as are used concerning them are common in all 
good authors. Besides, the Scripture itself, in other places innumer- 
able, doth so teach and declare what they are, as that its plain and 
du-ect proper assertions do sufficiently expound its own figurative 
enunciations: for these and such like ascriptions are only occasional; 
the dnect description 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 pro- 


perties, no description being anywhere 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; supposing you gave him that credit which 
honesty, wisdom, and sobriety 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 imagine? 
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 intention ; for it was not a man or any person that he 
intended, but it was 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 in- 
habitants unto mutual kindness and benignity, 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 nowi believe that either the 
first person, whom you know to be a wise, sober, and honest man, 
was a notorious trifler, and designed your ruin, if you were to order 
any of your occasions according to his reports, or that your latter 
informer, whom you have just reason to suspect of falsehood and de- 
ceit in other things, hath endeavoured to abuse both him and you, 
to render his veracity suspectetl, 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 com- 
forteth 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 "according to the counsel of his own will.'' 
Herjeupon 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 obe- 
dience and salvation. Can any man possibly, that gives credit to 
the testimony thus proposed in the Scripture, conceive any otherwise 
of this Spirit but as of a holy, wise, intelligent person? Now, whilst 
v/e are under the power of these apprehensions, there come unto us 


some men, Socinians 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 concerning the 
Holy Spirit is indeed true, but that in and by all the expressions 
which it useth concerning him, it intendeth 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, dis- 
cerneth and judgeth figuratively, is sinned against figuratively, and 
so of all that is said of him. Can any man that is not forsaken of 
all natural reason as well as spiritual light choose now but determine 
that either the Scripture designed to draw him into errors and. mis- 
takes about the principal concernments 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 of the Son, and of 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 joki equally with them, as to all the concerns of our faith and obe- 
dience, 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 divine, 
but a creature, then here is openly the same honour assigned unto 
him who is no more as unto God himself. This elsewhere the 
Scripture declares to be idolatry to be detested. Gal. iv. 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 
Tepa.roXoyovffi, speak things portentous and unintelligible, what sense 
can any man apprehend in the words? 

Besides, whatever is ascribed unto the other persons, either with 
respect unto themselves or our duty towards them, is eqnalhj ascrib- 
ed unto the Holy Ghost; for whatsoever is intended by the "name" 
of the Father and of 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 diverse names. And by the " name" 
of God either his being or his authority is signified; for other inten- 
tion 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 acknow- 
ledged 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, Eph. vL 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, — Schlich- 
ting. 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, — is ascribed 
unto him, that we argue. 

Again ; We are said to be baptized s/s to hofia, "into his name." 
And no sense can be affixed unto these words but what doth un- 
avoidably 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,^ equally submitting to their authority, and equally tak- 
ing 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 conse- 
crated, 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 
engagement of ourselves unto God which constitutes our Christianity. 
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, and the Son likewise, is joined with 
them /or the ends and in the manner mentioned, without the least 

^ "Baptizate gentes in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. In nomine dixit, 
non in nominibus. Non ergo aliud nomen Patris. aliud nomen Filii, aliud nomen Spi- 
ritus Sancti, quam unus Deus." — Ambros. de Spir. tSanc. lib. i. cap. 4. 


note of difference as to deity or personality, is a strange fondness, 
destructive of all religion, and leading the minds of men towards 
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 pro- 
fession of it. So the disciples whom the apostle Paul met with at 
Ephesus, Acts xix. 3, are said to be baptized iJg rh Icudwov (Sdtris/ia, 
" 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 sig Muuffnv, " 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 ceremonies 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 pro- 
posal 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 doc- 
trine 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 liaving 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. 82. 
Luke speaks first in general that he descended h ilhu (rw^a^/^cp, " in 
a bodily shape" or appearance; and they all agree that it Was the 
sliape of a dove under which he appeared. The words in Matthew 
are, E/3h to nvsu/j,cc tou Qsou xaraQaTvov usil vipisripdv xai ip^o/J^ivov k'ff 
axjTov—'' He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and light- 
ing", (or rather coming) " upon him." « He," that is John the iJap- 
tist, not Christ himself. The relative, aOro?, refers in this place to 
the more remote antecedent; for although "he," that is Christ him- 
self, 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 
tlie manner of his descending,— de^cQxi^ying (in a bodily shape) as a 
dove descends; or they may respect the manner of his cqypearance,— 
he appetired like a dove descending. And this sense is determined 


in the other evangelists to the bodily shape wherein he descended. 
He took the form or shape of a dove to make a. visible representa- 
tion of himself by; for a visible pledge was to be given of the com- 
ing 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 represented to 
be. And the text will not bear any such apprehension, though it 
was entertained by some of the ancients; for it is evident that this 
shape of a dove came out of heaven. He saw the heavens opened 
and the dove descending; 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 ap- 
pearance or manifestation of God himself. And so (or which is the 
same) the bowing of the heavens is often used: Ps. cxliv. 5, "Bow 
thy heavens, O Lord, and come down;" 2 Sam. xxii, 10; Isa. 
Ixiv. 1 ; Ezek. i. 1, " The heavens were opened, and I saw visions 
of God;" so Acts viL 56. God used not this sign but in some mani- 
festation 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 repre- 
sentation of a dove. It was ilbog (SuiMariKov, "a bodily shape;" and 
that 'xspiffrspac,, "of a dove." 

As, then, at the beginning of the old creation, the Sj)irit of God 
'^?0"!'?j "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 comprised it in himself, carrying it on by virtue of his pre- 
sence with him. And so this is applied in the Syriac ritual of bap- 
tism, composed by Severinus, in the account given of the baptism of 
Christ: s''D bvi r\::>^ sin t?t^>n ^^i nnm nms wv niona NC^mpi xrini 
nam ; — " 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, 21 , 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 peace-maker, 
Eph. ii. 14-17. 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. Hence is that direction, " Be 
harmless as doves," Matt. x. 16. So also the sharpness of its sight 
or eyes, as Cant. i. 15, iv. 1, is fixed on to represent a quick and dis- 
cerning understanding, such as was in Christ from the resting of the 
Spirit upon him, Isa. xi. 2-4. 

The shaiie thereof that appeared was that of a dove, but the sub- 
stance 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 feathers, colours, or the like. This 
also rendered the appearance 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 <^\^] V^'!!, Gen. iv. 4, " The 
Lord had respect unto Abel, and to his offering," by 'Evs'Trupiciiv 6 Qsog, 
"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 erection of the altar in the wilderness, upon the first sacrifices, 
" fire came out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar 
the burnt-offering and the fat; which when all the people 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-, 2. So was it also upon the dedication of the altar in the 
temple of Solomon: " Fire came down from heaven and consumed the 
burnt-offering and the sacrifices," 2 Chron. vii. 1 ; and a fire thence kin- 
dled 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 kindled in the heart of the offerer by the Holy Ghost, 
represented 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, therefore, 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, together with wisdom and utterance, he furnished them 


vrithal 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 w^ords, 
" and with fire," are added s^riyririxug, and the expression is iv diu 
hoTv, — 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 wit"h fire," there is a prospect unto what came to 
pass afterward, when the apostles received the Holy Ghost with a 
visible pledge of fiery tongues, so there seems to be a retrospect, by 
way of allusion unto what is recorded, Isa. vi. 6, 7; for a living or 
"fiery coal from the altar," where the fire represented the Holy 
Ghost, or his work and grace, having touched the lips of his prophet, 
liis sin was taken away, both as to the guilt and filth of it. And 
this is the work of the Holy Ghost, who not only sanctifieth us, but, 
l>y ingenerating 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 by the spirit of 
burning." He is compared 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 " in two evangelists, 
Matt. iii. 11, Luke iii. 16; so in the other two there is mention only 
of the "Holy Ghost," Mark i. 8, John i. 38, the same thing being in- 
tended. I have added these things a little to clear the manner of 
this divine appearance, which also belongs unto the economy of the 

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 its own, doth manifest that he himself is a sub- 
stance 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 substantial figure or resem- 
blance made but what is monstrous. It is excepted by our adver- 
saries (Crell. de Natur. Spir. Sane), " That a dove is no person, be- 
cause not endued with an understanding, which is essentially requir- 
ed unto the constitution 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 substance; 
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 ap- 
pearance intended to manifest himself to be a divine person, he would 
have appeared as a man, who is a person, for so God, or an angel in 
liis name, appeared under the Old Testament," it is of no more im- 
portance than the preceding exception. The Holy Ghost did mani- 
fest himself as it seemed good unto him; and gome 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, chap. 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 himself 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 reason of such ap- 
pearances 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 particularly and dis- 
tinctly ascribed unto him. 

First, Understanding or wisdom, which is the first inseparable 
property of an intelUgent subsistence, is so ascribed unto him in the 
acts and effects of it: 1 Cor. ii. 10, "The Spirit searcheth all things, 
yea, the deep things of God." What Spirit it is that is intended is 
declared expressly, verse 12, "Now we have not received rh ^vsD.aa 
rou kLsi^w, the spirit of the world," are not acted by the evil spirit; 
dXXa ro nctD/xa to Jx roS GioD, " but the Spirit which is of God," — a sig- 
nal description of the Holy Ghost. So he is called " His Spirit," verse 
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, be- 
cause he knoweth: Verse 11, " What man knoweth the things of a 
man, save the spirit of man which is in him?"— which is intimate unto 
all its own thoughts and counsels; "even so the things of God knoweth 
no man, but the Spirit of God." And by him are they revealed unto 


US, for by him "we know the things that are freely given to us of God," 
verse 12. These things cannot be spoken of any but a person endued 
with understanding. And he thus "searcheth ra. ^ddrj tov 0£oS,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 understand- 
ing; as it is said of God, injuni? npn pN, Isa. xl. 28, " There is no end," 
measure, or investigation, " of his understanding;" Ps. cxlvii. 5, there 
is " no number of his understanding," — it is endless, boundless, in- 
finite. It is excepted (Schlichting. de Trinitat., p. 605) " That the 
Spirit is not here taken for the Spirit himself, nor doth the apostle 
express what the S[tirit 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 excep- 
tion 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 his Spirit." 
But how Cometh the Spirit himself, the author of these revelations, 
to be acquainted with these things? This he hath from his own na- 
ture, whereby he knoweth or " searcheth all things, yea, the deep 
things of God." It is, therefore, the revelation made by the Spirit 
unto the apostles and penmen of the scripture of the New Testa- 
ment, — who were acted by the Holy Ghost in like manner as were 
the holy men of old, 2 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 treateth in 
these words. But who is tbis Spirit? The same apostle tells us that 
the "judgments of God are unsearchable, and his ways past finding- 
out," Rom. xi. 83 ; and asketh, " Who hath known the mind of the 
Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?" verse 84. And yet this 
Spirit is said to " search all things, yea, 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," 1 Cor. ii. 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 understanding and knowledge. This is an 
individual intelligent substance, capable of a subsistence in a sepa- 
rate 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" (Goodwin, 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 
l)erfection of the knowledge of God is expressed thereby. So David 
prays that God would " search him, and know his heart," Ps. cxxxix. 
23. And he is often said to " search the hearts of men," whereby his 
infinite wisdom is iutimated, whereunto all things are open and 
naked. So is his Spirit said to " search the deep things of God," 
because of his infinite understanding and the perfection of his know- 
ledge, before which they lie open. And as things are here spoken of 
the Spirit in reference unto God the Father, so are they spoken of him 
in reference unto the Spirit: Rom. viii. 27, " He that searcheth the 
hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit." Add hereunto that this 
Spirit is the author of wisdom and understaading in and unto others, 
and therefore he must have them in himself; and that not virtually 
or casually only, but formally also. 1 Cor. xii. 8, wisdom and know- 
ledge are reckoned among the gifts bestowed by him. For those of 
faith and tongues, it is enough that they are in him virtually; but 
wisdom and understanding, they cannot be given by any but he that 
is wise and understandeth what he doth ; and hence is he called ex- 
jiressly a " Spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and know- 
ledge," Isa. xi. 2. I might confirm this by other testimonies, where 
other effects of understanding are ascribed 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 ivill is ascribed unto him. This is the most eminently 
distinguishing character and property of a person. Whatever is en- 
dued with an intelligent will is a person; and it cannot by any fic- 
tion, 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 oVou SsXg/, " 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 uw^rsuOuvog, 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 ascribe 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, "O'lrou 


oci/ i] opfj^Yj Tov svSvvo)iTog ^ovXrjrar in which the act of willing is ascribed 
to the op/xri, the impetus or inclination of the governor, which yet 
hath not a will. But the 6p/x^ in that place is not the vpuTtj xhriGig 
of the philosophers, the motus 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 is a person. Thus, a will acting with under- 
standing and choice, as the principle and cause of his outward actions, 
is ascribed unto the Holy Ghost: 1 Cor. xii. 11, " All these worketh 
that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every man severally 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, verses 
4-6. These gifts he declares to be various, as he manifests in nine 
instances, and all variously disposed of by him, verses 8-10. If now 
it be inquired what is the rule of this his distribution of them, he 
tells us that it is his oivn 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 (Schlich- 
ting. p. 610) " That the Holy Ghost is here introduced as a person by a 
prosopopoeia, — 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 allowed, 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 man severally as he will." And for the confirma- 
tion 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 sovereign 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 un- 
derstanding and the determinations of his will, declares him to be a 
person. It is not the mere ascription 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 wliereunto 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 inhe- 
ritance among all them which are sanctified," if that place intend the 
■word written or preached (whereinto I have made inquiry elsewhere): 
but 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. 1 6, because God is pleased to use it and make it effectual 
])y his grace unto that end. But where power, divine power, is ab- 
solutely ascribed unto any one, and that declared to be put forth and 
exercised by the understanding and according to the will of him to 
whom it is so ascribed, it doth undeniably prove him to be a divine 
2'>erson; 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 (Schlichting. pp. 613-615) "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, V'.nri '^^ nipp] ^jnb-y ^x-nn. 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 
•^^y and 1>'', — " he made," "he formed." And secondly, the infusion 
of a hving or quickening soul into him, called Ci''*0 ^itO^O^ 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 these figurative and enig- 
matical words, " God breathed into man the breath of life,"— that is, 
by his Spirit he effected a principle of life in him; as we shall see 

Isa. xi. 2, As he is called a " Spirit of wisdom and understanding," 
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 pro- 
phet, 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, 
Eph. iii. 16. 

Tliose by whom this truth is opposed do lay out all their strength 
and skill in exceptions, I may say cavils, against some of these par- 
ticular 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 
ivorks 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 assigna- 
tion unto him with the least congruity of speech or design of speak- 
ing 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 contains 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 uniform, 
constant assignation of them all unto him in the Scriptures: which 
renders it irrefragable. For the things themselves, I shall not insist 
upon them, because their particular nature must be afterward un- 

First, He is said to teach us: Luke xii. 12, "The Holy Ghost 
shall teach you what ye ought to say." John xiv, 26, " The Com- 
forter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my 
name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your re- 
membrance." 1 John ii. 27, He is the " anointing which teacheth us 
all thinofs;" how and whence he is so called shall be afterward declared. 
He is the great Teacher of the church, unto whom tlie accom})lish- 
ment 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 spiritual 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 teaches us: 1 Cor. xi. 14, ' Doth not even nature itself 
teach you?' 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 anywhere used metaphorically, though 
it be never 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 exceptmg 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 [a] 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, proceed, and 
act, according to the principles, dictates, and inclinations of it. Every 
one sees that here is no intimation of an active teaching by instruc- 
tion, 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, vemmque laborem ; 
Fortimam ex aliis:" [^n., xii. 435.] 

for virtue and industry are to be learned properly, but fortune, as 
they called it, or prosperous events, are not so. These things, there- 
fore, 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 dis- 
course of our Saviour unto his disciples, wherein he purposely in- 
structs 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, accord- 
ing unto the promise, John xiv., xv., xvL, 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. 1 6, 26. If he be 
not so, the intention 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, verse 1 7; one whom the Father would 
send, and who would come accordingly, and that to teach them, to 
lead and gufde them^ and to bring things to their remembrance, 
verse 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, and of righteousness, and of judgment," chap. xvi. 
7, 8, and to abide with his disciples, to supply his own bodily absence. 
So is he said to " speak," " guide," " teach," " hear," to " receive of 
Christ's and to show it unto others," John xiv. 26, xvi. 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 acknowledge him to be a divine person. And it is a confidence 
swelling above all bounds of modesty, to suppose that because one or 
other of these things is or may be metaphorically 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- 
signed the instruction of them, as above declared. Of the same 
nature is that which we discoursed before concerning his searchinfj 
of all things, from 1 Cor. ii. 10; which as it proves him to be an un- 
derstanding agent, so it undeniably denotes a personal action. Such 
also are the things mentioned, Rom. viii. 16, 26: He "helpeth our 
infirmities," he " maketh intercession for us," he himself " beareth 
witness with our spirit;" the particular meaning of all which expres- 
sions shall be afterward inquired into. Here the only refuge of our 
adversaries is to cry up a prosopopoeia (Schlichting. 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 pur- 
pose, 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 whereunto I have called them. So they, being 
sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed." The other is chap. 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 extraordhiarj 


case, as matter of fact, in the first, is doctrinally applied unto ordi- 
nary cases in the latter. And two things are remarkable iii the first 
place:— 1. The Holy Ghost's designation of hiraoelf as the person 
unto whom and whose work Barnabas and Saul were to be separat- 
ed and dedicated. Saith he, ' AcpopisaTi bn [loi, not " Separate me," as 
in our translation, making the Spirit only the author of the command, 
but " Separate unto me;" which proposeth him also as the object of 
the duty required, and the person whose work was to be attended. 
Who or what, then, is intended by that pronoun " me?" Some per- 
son is directed unto and signified thereby; nor can any instance 
b'e given where it is so much as figuratively used, unless it be in a 
professed parable. That rem.ains, 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 because 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 argu- 
ment; for we do not argue merely from his being said to speah, 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 second verse confirms this applica- 
tion of the word, " For the work whereunto I have called them." 
This confessedly is the Holy Ghost. Now, to call men to the mi- 
nistry is a free act of authority, choice, and wisdom ; which are pro- 
perties 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, verse 4, " So they, being sent forth by the Holy 
Ghost, departed." He called them, by furnishing them with ability 
and authority for their work; he commanded them to be set apart 
by tbe church, that they might be blessed and owned in their work; 
and he sent them forth, by an impression of his authority on tlieir 
minds, given them by those former acts of his. And if a divine 
person bo not hereby described, I know not how he may so be. 

The other text speaks unto the same purpose. Acts xx. 28, it 
is expressly said that the Holy Ghost made the el.ler« of the church 
the overseers of it. The same act of wisdom aiid 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 exphcatory of the other ; for he must be meant in these expres- 
sions, " 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 
ordinary 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 concernment of those who 
take this work and office upon them to consider what there is iu 
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 purpose, 
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 : " How is it that ye have agreed 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 possibly be so but he that hath an understand- 
iug to consider what is proposed unto him, and a will to determine 
upon the proposal 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 
patronize their deceit. In like manner, Ananias is said to " lie to 
the Holy Ghost," verse 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, verse 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. Ixiii. 10. A figurative expression is 
allowed in these words. Properly, the Spirit of God cannot be 
grieved or vexed ; for these things include such imperfections 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 13 revocations, 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 human persons, be represented 
by this figurative expression. To talk of grieving a virtue or an ac- 
tual emanation of power, is to speak that which no man can under- 
stand 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 else- 
where 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 evident in that 
discourse of Our Saviour, Matt. xii. 24. The Pharisees said, " He doth 
not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub, the prince of devils." And Jesus 
answered, verse 28, "It I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then 
the kingdom of God is come unto you." Verses 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 
forgiven 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 distin- 
guished from the Son, as one person from another. They are both 
spoken of with respect unto the same things in the same manner, 
and the things mentioned are spoken concerning them universally 
m 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 distinctly spoken against, for 
they were but one and the same. The Pharisees blasphemed, say- 
ing, that "he cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils." 


A person they intended, 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 diaboli- 
cal. Hereunto he immediately subjoins his instruction 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 dis- 
tinct person, may be blasphemed ; so it is said here expressly ; — and 
thereon it is added that the Holy Ghost also may be distinctly blas- 
phemed, 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 awake. 

I suppose by all these testimonies we have fully confirmed 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 intelli- 
gent suhsistent 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 Father and 
the Son equally participant of the divine nature. Nor is this dis- 
tinctly much disputed by them with whom we have to do ; for they 
confess that such things are ascribed 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 expressly unto his deity 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 imto 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, verse 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 
expressed in both places; and, therefore, the Holy Ghost is God. 
The word for lying is the same in both places, •^ivdo/j.ai, only it is 
used in a various construction. Verse 8, it hath the accusative case 
joined unto it: YiUaaCixi as rh n^D/za rh ayiov, — that "thou shouldst de- 
ceive," 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 presides of that which is false. This is explained, verse 4, 
by e-^sUu rui Qiui, "thou hast lied unto God;" the nature of his sin 
being principally intended in the first place, and the object in the 
latter. Wherefore, in the progress of his discourse, the apostle calls 
the same sin, a "tempting of the Spirit of the Lord," verse 9 ; it 
was the Spirit of the Lord that he lied unto, when he lied unto God. 
These three expressions, "The Holy Ghost," "God," « The Spirit of 
the Lord," do denote the same thing and person, or there is no co- 
herence 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 mo- 
rally 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 immediately, both Christ and the Spirit were sinned 
against in their own persons. He is " God " [who is] 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," octI Kvplou livvjixarog, "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 opening of the beginning of that chapter at the be- 
ginning of our discourse. The same, also, is drawn by just conse- 
quence from the comparing of Scriptures together, wherein what is 
spoken of God absolutely in one place is applied directly and im- 
mediately unto the Holy Ghost in another. To instance in one 
or two particulars: Lev xxvi. 11, 12, "I will," saith God, "set my 
tabernacle among 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 in 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 ye 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 
shall 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 peo])le, and 
to make them his temple 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 peo- 
ple, at tlie same time, it is said, that "the Spirit of the Lord did 
lead them, and caused them to rest," Isa. Ixiii. 14. " The Spirit of 
the Lord," therefore, is Jehovah, or Jehovah 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," Ps. Ixxviii. 
17, 18, is tenned their "rebelling against and vexing the Holy 
Spirit," Isa. Ixiii. 10, 11. And many other instances of an alike na- 
ture 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, Ps. cxxxix. 7, " Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?" — 
omnipotency, Mic. ii. 7, " The Spirit of the Lord is not straitened," 
compared with Isa, xl. 28 ; " The power of the Spirit of God," Rom. 
XV. 19; — prescience, Acts i. 16, This scripture must be fulfilled, 
"which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concern- 
ing Judas;" — omniscience, 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11, " The Spirit searcheth 
all things, yea, the deep things of God ; " — sovereign authority over 
the church. Acts xiii. 2, 4, 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 dis- 
course 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 suflSce as unto our present 
purpose, that we may know who he is concerning whom, — his works 
and grace, — we do .design to treat. « 

I have but one thing more to add concerning the "being and per- 
sonality of the Holy Spirit; and this is, that in the order of sub- 
sistence, 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, "Bap- 
tizing 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, '" 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 operations in and towards the 
church, is reckoned up in order before the Son, Jesus Christ. And 
so in Paul's euctical conclusion unto his epistles, the Son is placed 
before the Father: 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 men- 
tioned in the first place. Col. ii, 2, " The acknowledgment of the 
mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ," In this expres- 
sion 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 consequently of operation, the Holy Spirit 


is the third person; for as to his personal subsistence, he "pro- 
ceedeth 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 hira, 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 
application of the Trinity unto external works. But as he is thus 
sent, so his own will is equally in and imto 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 re- 
presented unto us, and they have the same dependence on each other 
in their operations as they have in their subsistence. The Father 
is the fountain of all, as in being and existence, so in operation. The 
Son is of the Father, begotten of him, and, therefore, as unto his 
work, is sent by him ; but his own will is in and unto what he is 
^ent 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 divideth 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 Trinity. 


Things to be observed in divine operations— The works of God, how ascribed ab- 
solutely unlo God, and how distinctly to each person— The reason hereof- 
Perfecting acts in divine works ascribed unto the Holy Spirit, and why— Pe- 
culiar works of the Spirit with respect unto the old creation— The parts of 
the old cre^ition— 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, Ps. 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 instar,ces thereof, in and out of 
the church- Work of the Spirit of God in the old creation, why sparingly 
dehvered. •' ^ * •' 

Intending to treat of the operations of the Holy Ghost, or those 
which are peculiar unto him, some things must be premised concern- 


ing 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 ascribed unto God ab- 
solutely. 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 persons 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 prin- 
ciple of all divine operations;^ and this ariseth from the unity of 
the persons in the same essence. But as to the manner of subsist- 
ence 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 emi- 
nence to the Father, and absolutely to God, who is Father, Son, and 
Holy Spirit. 

The reason, therefore, why the works of God are thus distinctly 
ascribed unto each person is because, in the undivided 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 naturce, the works of nature, or the old 
creation ; to the Son, opera gratice procuratce, all divine operations 
that belong unto the recovery of mankind by grace; and unto the 
Spirit, opera gratia} applicatce, the works of God whereby grace is 
made effectual unto us. And this is done, — (1.) When^ any espe- 
cial impression is made of the especial property of any person on any 

' Mitt afcc xa) Ik Tourav, h rrii Tpia^os hipyna, ^tixywrai. Ou yap as "Xap ixaiTTov S/a- 
(fopa, xa.) ^mpn/^'iva ra ^iSofiiva. ffnf^ahn o avoaroXoi. 'AXX' ort to, Itthofjuta, Iv Tpidoi oioorai, 
xa.) TO. vatra. \\ \tos 0iou Itrri Athanas. Epistol. [i. 31] ad Serapionem. 

Mf'av Ivipyiiav cpaifitv Varpo; xa) v'lou, xa) ay'iov rrtiVfjiaToi. — Basil. Homil. XVll., in SaBC- 
tum Baptisraa. ^ilv a\ avrai Inpytiai rouruy xa) ol/tria ftia, ivipyna t\ vUu xa) vrarfo; //.la 
&>; TO- <proiyi(ra>i/,i\> avSpu-Ttov. Kai •xaXii' a yap ai o 'jrarrip ■^oin, ravra Kui e vies t/^otas "ifoai, 
'Apa xa) ohff'ia /t'la vrarpos wt) viou. — Idem advers. Eunom., lib. iv. 

" Quicquid de Spiritu Sancto diximus hoc similiter de Patre et Filio communiter et 
indivise Yolumus intelligi ; quia sancta et inseparabilis Trinitas nunquam aliquid s© 
sigillatim operari noverit." — Ambros. in Symbol. Apost. cap. ix. 

* Uatra ra S-tO'Xpi'rZs Xtyofitva l-rt Tns v-rtpaviriov rpia'Sas xaff Ixao-rnf fuv rpiui vT»- 
VTaffiuv l^i^iavrai, xa) \vaffji.'oTTiTai, ■xXriv a Tnv •^ffoay/uytiv tovtuv, Hyovii TtlD Wofruifixilt 

yvupun ifi^oioviiTai. — Arethas, iu Apocal. Commentar. cap. 1. 


work ; then is that work assigned 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 entitles him peculiarly and by way of 
eminence unto his own immediate works. 

2. Whereas the order of operation among the distinct persons 
depends on the order^ of their subsistence in the blessed Trinity, in 
every great work of God, the concluding, completing, perfecting acts 
are ascribed unto the Holy Ghost.** 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.^ The beginning of divine 
operations is assigned unto the Father, as he i&fons et origo Deitatis, 
— " the fountain of the Deity itself:" " Of him, and through him, and 
to him, are all things," Rom. xi. 36. 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 " upholdeth all things by the word of his power," 
Heb. i. 3. And the finishing and perfecting of all these works is 
ascribed to tlie 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, of the whole Trinity, inseparably 
and undiyidedly: but on those divine works which outwardly are of 
God there is an especial impression of the order of the operation of 

» « Hoc non est inrequalitas substantise, sed ordo nature ; non quod alter esset prior 
altero, scJ quod alter esset ex altero."— Aug. lib. iii. contra Maxeiitium, cap. 14. 

Zo/iUfi IK Tarfos a((>o;:fiurai, xai ha. tov v'loZ •jrf'ouiri, xa) Lv tu -t^iui/.kti Tfc ay'iu TiXuaurai. 
—Grogor. Nyssen.^ ad Ablabium '£► St ^ji rdrc^, {iyyix^v) xr'xru, iniv<rov fco, ri» 
vpixaTUfKTiKri* aiTiitv tuv ytvoftivuv to» vxri^a, t»jv '^^fiiavfyix^v to> u'iov, t»v r%XiiuriKW 
«-o TtiZ f/.a. — Basil, de Spir. Sane. cap. xvi. 

^Kaiyai W/tty rrii vaXaia.; u{ ■jrfoKccrapx.rixov ruv cXay o rrartip ■Tfura); xtipirTtrai. 
KaihuTifi,! li i v'to; uf lr;fii»vpy,xc> a7r,(,v \it.(pay',Z,iTa,. Ku.) rp'iTus i,, riXiiuTixn to rrnu/aa 
nro ay„i>. To. TtXuur.Ko. yy tZ riXu (fipuiMif^u; uvafamra,, tS -rpox.o'ri, xa, av^^ffu <r«» 
Vfayyaruv xa, rZv ^ "vi-v oia ff-i(pavos avxpfvinus W) tuT; i,6XnT,Ko7; llfuiri xccTo. to TlXaf 
ivx fisli^lyoj. A]a xa)^ rov ay^puTo* -rXiffas o dio; -XfuToi dra. t'iXu wifvtv^aii t!( TO Vfi- 

rasrcv aiiTou TmiJ/ia ^urts — Jobius apud I'hotiuip lib. cxxiL cap. 18. 


each person, with respect unto their natural and necessary subsist- 
ence, as also with regard unto their internal characteristical proper- 
ties, whereby we are distinctly taught to know them and adore 
them. And the due consideration of this order of things will direct 
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 explained. 

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, [and] 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 heaven and the 
earth." And what belongs unto them is called their "host:" chap, 
ii. 1, " The heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of 
them." 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" Ci^^^^! ^^V'^^l, "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 Avay, and the 
angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them, he said. This is 
God's host." "^.^n^, the word he useth, signifieth a host encamped. 
2r^ar/a ovpdvjog, Luke ii. 13, " The heavenly host," or army. The 
sun, moon, and stars, are also called the host of heaven: Deut. 
iv. 19, " Lest thou 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. xxxiv. 4 ; Jer. xxxiii. 22. This was that host of 
heaven which the Jews idolatrously worshipped: chap. 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 worshipped." The expressions are multiplied, to show 
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 Jer. xix. 13. This they called O^DK^n DD^O, the 
"queen of heaven," chap. xliv. 17, because of its beauty and adorn- 
ings. 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 multitude. 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 "eartK was 
without form and void," 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 
MdiMOi, — that is, an adorned thing. 2. Because all creatures in 
heaven and earth are God's armies, to accomplish 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," Judges v. 20. God overruled 
the influences of heaven against him, though it may be angels also 
are here intended. And among the meanest creatures of the earth, 
he calls locusts and caterpillars, 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 nnst^ agrees with nn/ the " Spirit," and not with 
" he ;" and the word signifies to "adorn," to make fair, to render beau- 
tiful 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 

' This word in the original is Hhl^a. To make it agree with rrjBtt;, Owen must have 
adopted the opinion of Aben Ezra, that a in the former word is redundant. Eminent 
critics demur to this conclusion; Simonis and others rendering the clause, " By his 
Spii'it the heavens [are] beauty." — Ed. 


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,'' Ps. 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 cast out devils," are, Matt. xii. 28, " If I cast out devils 
l)y the Spirit of God." By him were the heavens, as it were, curi- 
ously wrought, adorned, garnished, rendered beautiful and glorious, 
to show forth the praise of his power and wisdom, Ps. 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, finishing 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 nothing created 
the earth, which con\prised 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 substance was covered, and as it were overwhelmed, is in- 
tended by that "earth" which was first created ; for immediately there 
is mention made of the "deep" and the "waters," without any intima- 
tion of their production but what is contained in that of the creation 
of the earth. Gen. i. 2. This mass being thus firamed and mixed, the 
" Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters;" not taken dis- 
tinctly, but as containing that radical humour which was the mate- 
rial principle of life and being unto all creatures: '^?0~!9 ^'''"'''^ '^^"'1 
C^^O ''■!7i"''i'. The word merachepheth signifies an easy, gentle mo- 
tion, 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 de- 
fend its young. And this will no way consist with that exposition 
which some would give in this place of ^'"'P^. 0^1 . "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 sin- 
gular eminency of any thing. So a great trembling is called a ' trem- 
bhng of God,' 1 Sam. xiv. 15; great cedars, the ' cedars of God,' Ps. 
Ixxx. 10 ; 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 

VOL. III. 7 


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, Jer. xxiii. 9. In Deuteronomy it is ex- 
pressly applied unto the motion of an eagle over her young, for their 
safety, protection, and growth: VSJS t'')^] ^ni], "As an eagle flutter- 
eth, 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 intended 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 refer- 
ence 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 perfection, 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 principles of life which were communi- 
cated unto the rude, inform chaos, by the cherishing motion of the 
Holy Spirit. Without 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 ac- 
count of the original of all things, in their several kinds, than any [that] 
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.^ And as at the first creation, 

1 " Hie Spiritus Sanctus ab ipso mundi initio aquis legitur superfusus; non materi- 
alibiis aquis quasi vehiculo egcns, quas potius ipse ferebat, et complectentibns lirma- 
mentum dabat congnium motum et limitem prfetinitum. Hujus sempiterna virtus et 
divinitas, cum in propria natura ab inquisitoribus mundi antiquis pliilosophis proprie 
invcstigari non posset, subtilissimis tamen intuiti sunt conjecturis compositionem 
mundi; compositis et distinctis elementorum afiFectibus presentera omnibus animam 
aflFuisse, quas secundum genus et ordinem singulorum vitam prseberet et motum, et 
intransgressibiles figcrct metas, et stabilitatem assignaret et usum. Banc vitam, hunc 
motum, banc rerum csscntiam, animam mundi philosophi vocaverunt, putantes coelestia 
corpora, solcm dico lunam et Stellas ipsumque firmamentum hujus animte virtute 
moven et regi, et aquas, et terram, et aerem hujus semine imprsegnari Qui si spiri- 
tum et dominum, et creatorem, et vivificatorem, et nutritorem crederent omnium quae 


SO in the course of providence, this work of cherishing and nourishing 
the creatures is assigned in an especial manner unto the Spirit : Ps. 
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 production 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 : Verse 29, " Thou hidest thy face, they 
are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return 
to their dust." That, under this continual decay and dying of all 
sorts of creatures, the world doth not come to emptiness and desola- 
tion, the only reason is, because the Spirit of God, whose office and 
work it is to uphold and preserve 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 ofttimes entering deep 
into its bowels, the Spirit of God, by its influential concurrence, re- 
news it again, causing every thing afresh to bring forth fruit accord- 
ing imto 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 twofold notion; for he may 
be considered either merely naturally, as to the essentially consti- 
tutive 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 Scripture. The first is expressed, Gen. ii. 7, 

sub ipso sunt, convenientem haberent ad vitam accessum. Sed abscondita est a sapi- 
eiitibus, et prudentibus tantse rei majestas ; nee potuit humani fastus ingenii secretis 
interesse coelestibus, et penetrare ad supei'essentialis natuKe altitudinem; et licet iu- 
telligerent, quod vere esset cr«itrix et gubernatrix rerum Divinitas, distinguere tamen 
nullo modo potuerunt quae esset Deitatis Trinitas, vel quae unitas vel quae personarum 
propi'ietas. Hie est Spiritus vitse cujus vivificus calor animat omnia et fovet et prove- 
Lit et fecundat. Hie omnium viventium anima, ita largitate sua se omnibus abun- 
danter infundit, ut habeant omnia rationabilia et irrationabilia secundum genus suum 
ex eo quod sunt, et quod in suo ordine suse naturse competentia agunt ; non quod ipse 
sit substantialis anima singulis, sed in se singulariter manens, de plenitudine sua dis- 
tributor magnificus proprias efficientias singulis dividit et largitur ; et quasi sol omnia 
calefaciens subjecta, omnia nutrit, et absque ulla sui diminutione, integritatem suam 
de inexhausta abundantia quod satis est et sufl&cit omnibus commodat et impartit." — 
Cypr. Lib. de Spir. Sane. 


" And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and 
breathed into his nostrils the breath of Ufe; and man became a Uving 
soul." 1. There is the matter whereof he was formed; 2. The 
quickening principle added thereunto; and, 8. The effect of their 
conjunction and union. For the matter he was made of, it is said he 
was formed '^^^^.l'"!'? "^?V, [of] " dust of the ground," or dust gathered 
together on a heap from and upon the ground : ^"^^ nhsy ^ih ^ Prov. 
viii. 26. So is God, the great dri/j^/ovpyos, 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 vUe, contemptible matter as a heap of dust, 
swept as it were together on the ground, could and did make so ex- 
cellent, 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 now, 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 transgression: Gen. 
iii. 19, " Thou shalt return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou 
taken : for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." He lets 
him know that he had now, by sin, lost that immortality which he 
was made in a condition to have enjoyed; and that his body, accord- 
ing 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 D'*n noc'J^ the " breath of life;" divince aurce par- 
ticulam, " 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 be- 
tween 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 Savi- 
our bestowed the Holy Ghost on 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, thii'dly, the efiect hereof is, that man became n^n ^^^b a " livino- 
soul." His body was hereby animated, and capable of all vital act& 


Hence he could move, eat, see, hear, etc. ; 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 obedi- 
ence unto God, it is expressed. Gen. i. 26, 27, " And God said. Let 
us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have 
dominion," etc. " 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 condition, every way complete, — fit, disposed, and able 
to and for the obedience required of him ; without weakness, dis- 
temper, disease, contrariety of principles, inclinations, or reasonings. 
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 considera- 
tions 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 tlie Almighty hath 
given me life." Here, indeed, the creation and production 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 under 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 creation; 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 state and condition of man, 
with the furniture of his mind and soul, in reference unto his obedi- 
ence 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 idoneous, 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 natfire and properties of 
God as to believe him the only proper object ot all acts and duties 
of religious obedience, and an all-sufficient satisfaction and reward in 
this world and to eternity. Secondly, A free, uncontrolled, unen- 
tangled disposition to every duty of the law of his creation, in order 
imto living unto God. Thirdly, An ability of mind and will, with a 
readiness of compliance in his affections, for a due regular perform- 
ance 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 operation of the Holy Ghost; 
for although this rectitude of his nature be distinguishable and se- 
parable 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 sove- 
reign 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 superadded unto man's natural 
faculties, as gifts supernatural (which yet is not so), they must be 
acknowledged in a peculiar manner to be from the Holy Spirit; for 
in the restoration 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 another 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 peculiar work; and the Son gave unto 
all thiugs a new consistency, which belonged unto him from the be- 
gmnmg, Col. i. 1 7. 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 accord- 
ingly it came to pass. He had him not by especial 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 especial nature and mutual application 
of one unto another, are all from the powerful and efficacious influ- 
ences of divine Providence, so there are particular operations of the 
Holy Spirit in and about all things, whether merely natural and ani- 
mal, or also rational and moral. An instance in each kind may suf- 
fice. For the first (as we have showed), the propagation of the sue-* 
ceedinof generations of creatures and the annual renovation of the face 
of the earth are ascribed unto him, Ps. 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 original and independent 
efficacy and causality, without a previous acting in, by, and upon 
them of the power of God. And this is here ascribed 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 subdue their ene- 
mies, it is said the Spirit of God came upon them: Judges 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 
chap. vi. 34. And although instances hereof are given us princi- 
pally among the people of God, yet wherever men in the world have 
been raised up to do great and wonderful things, whereby God execut- 
eth his judgments, [and] fulfilleth any of his promises or his threaten- 
ings, even they also have received of the especial gifts and assistances 
of the Holy Spirit of God. For this reason is Cjtus 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 de- 
stroy the great, ancient, 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 work 
itself was great, arduous, and insuperable to ordinary human abilities. 
Wherefore God "sends his Sphit" to fill Cyrus with wisdom, cou- 
rage, skill in all military affairs, that he might go through with the 
work whereunto, in the providence of God, he was designed. Hence 
is he called " God's anointed," because the unction of kings of old 


was an instituted sign of the communication of tlie gifts of the Holy 
Ghost for government unto them. See Isa. xlv. 1-4 ; and other in- 
stances of the hke kind might be given. 

Thus, when the church was to have a blessed restoration 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 great, 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 tlje poWer of the 
•Persian monarchy, under whose rule and oppressions "they were; for 
although they had permission and encoud^gemenl from Cyrus for 
their work, yet immediately upon his ^death they •^^f^re oppressed 
again, and their " work caused to cease." This powier they could no 
way conflict withal ; yet God tells them that all this opposition shall 
be removed and conquered. " 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 
Persian empire shall be removed out of the way, and the progress 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,'" verse 6; — "You would suppose that it must be done by armies 
and 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 your fears, they 
shall themselves further 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 mountam 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 works 
of the Spirit of God in the first creation. But the effect hereof 
being a state of things that quickly passed away, and being of no 
advantage to the church after the entrance of sin, what belonged 
unto it is but sparingly delivered 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 ner> 
creation (which falls under our consideration in the next place, as 
that alone which is directly intended by us), the foundation, build- 
ing 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 tlie Scripture ; and in reference unto 
them we shall find a full, distinct declaration of the whole dispensa' 
tion 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 application of himself 
to his work, how expressed — The Spirit, how and in what sense given and re- 
ceived — ^What is included in the giving of the Spirit — What in receiving 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 expres- 
sion — The Spirit, how poured out — Wliat is included and mtended herein — 
The ways of the Spirit's application of himself unto his work — His proceed- 
ing from Father and Son explained — How he cometh unto us — HisfaUing on 
men — His resting — How and in what sense he is said to depart from any per- 
son — Of the distributions of the Holy Ghost, Heb. ii. 4 — Exposition of them 

Before we treat of the especial operations, works, and effects of the 
Holy Ghost in and on the new creation, the order of things requires 
that we should first speak somewhat of the general nature of God's 
dispensation of him, and of his own application of himself unto his 
actings and workings 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 reve- 
lation. And what I have to offer concerning these things consists 
upon the matter solely in the explication of those places of ScrijDture 
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 

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 minister 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 fall on men; 4. To rest; and, 5. To depart These 


tilings, containing tlie general manner of his administration and dis- 
pensation, must be first spoken unto. 

First, He is said to be 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. 1 John iii. 24, " He hath given the Spirit unto us." 
Johnxiv. 16, "The Father shall give you another Comforter;" "which 
is the Holy Ghost," verse 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 ye receive another Spirit, which ye have 
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 supposing the other. And this expression of the dispensation 
of the Holy Ghost is irreconcilable unto the opinion before rejected, 
— namely, that he is nothing but a transient accident, or an occa- 
sional 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 receiving, especially as this is explained in those other expres- 
sions of the same thing before laid down, and afterward considered. 
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 an- 
other 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 suppose 
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 con- 
sidered two ways:— 1. Objectively, for the revelati-on or doctrine of 
gi-ace; 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 mean- 
ing of the word in this place, 2 Cor. vi. 1. Having taken the pro- 
fession of the doctrine of grace, that is, of the gospel, upon us, we 
ought to express its power in holiness and suitable obedience, with- 
out which it will be of no use or benefit unto us. And the grace of 
God is sometimes,— 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 some- 
times said to receive it : 1 Cor. iv. 7, " Who maketh thee to differ 
from another? and what hast thou that 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 makiug an impression on 
our minds and spirits, — no more than a man can be said to receive 
the sunbeams, 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 dispensation 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. 

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 poAver. 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 Avere in a way of authority? But keeping our- 
selves to the sacred rule of truth, we may solve this difficulty with- 
out curiosity or danger. Wherefore, — (1.) The order of the subsistence 
of the three persons in the divine nature is regarded herein; for the 
Father, as hath been showed, is the fountain 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 
redemption 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 advocate, is to make the love of the Father 
effectual unto us, John xvi. 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, the authority of this giving respects 
principally his gifts and graces, which depend on the authority of the " 

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 themselves 
but death; for as Austin says, " Quicquid tuum est peccatum 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 refresh- 
ment, it is of the mere gift of God, from his absolute and sovereign 

^ In answer hereunto they are said to receive him, on whom as a 
gift he is bestowed ; as in the testimonies 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 hLs 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 respect 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,-(l.) Our 
Saviour tells us "that the world cannot receive him, because it 
seeth him not, neither knoweth him," John xiv. 17. Now, if the 

XV.' de Fidi.^^'^°" ^"' "' '^""^" "' "''"'' *'**'"^'*-- '^'Hy^' S^^ «JTe?<,„«W.-Basil. Hohm 


"world" cannot receive him, there is required an ability and prepara- 
tion in them that do so, that are "not of the world;" and so the gift 
and communication of the Spirit depends on that qualification in us. 
But all men are naturally alike the world 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 
preparatory for and dispositive unto others, 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. Where- 
fore, 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 re- 
ceive him, and therefore the bestowing of him depends on a condi- 
tion to be by -us fulfilled ; for the promise is, that " our heavenly 
Father will give the Holy Spirit to 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 
indehita, " 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 be- 
longs 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 
perform 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 con- 

8. 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, in- 
deed, 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. 
viL 22, 23. Thus it is with all who receive his gifts only, without 
Lis 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. xii. 7, — yet there 
is that excellency and worth in them, and that use may be made of 
them, as to turn greatly to the advantage 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 " turning of many to righteous- 
ness," who " shall shine as the brightness 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 what- 
ever. 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 : Ps. civ. SO, " 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 
wnto you the Comforter from the Father," chap. xv. 26, xvi. 7. And 
in the accomplishment of that promise, it is said he " shed him 
forth," Acts ii. 33; Gal. iv. 6, " God hath sent forth the Spirit of his 
Son into 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 includes in its signification a respect unto a 


local motion. He whicli is sent removetli 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 naturally omnipresent, and 
an omnipresence is inconsistent with a local mutation. So the 
Psahnist expressly : Ps, cxxxix, 7, 8, " Whither shall I go from thy 
Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up 
into heaven," etc. There must, therefore, a metaphor be allowed in 
this expression, but such a one as the Scripture, by the frequent use of 
it, hath rendered familiar unto us. Thus God is said to "come out of 
his place," to "bow the heavens and come down ;" to "come down and 
see what is done in the earth," Isa. xxvi. 21 ; Ps. cxliv. 5 ; Gen. xviii. 21. 
That these things are not spoken properly of God, who is immense, all 
men acknowledge. But when 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 beinor oriven : — 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 sancti- 
fier. " I will," saith he, " send him unto you ; and ye know him, for 
he dwelleth with you," John xiv, 17, xvi. 7. He did so as a sanctifier 
before he came unto them as a comforter. But in every coming 
of his, he is sent for one especial work or another; and this suffi- 
ciently manifests that in his gifts and graces he is not common unto 
all. A supposition thereof would leave no place 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 semse 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.^ 
No local motion, then, is intended in this expression, only there is an 
allusion thereunto; for as a creature cannot produce any effects 
where it is not, until it either be sent thither or go thither of its own 
accord, so the Holy Ghost produceth not the blessed effects of his 

• " Etenim si de loco procedit Spiritus et ad locum transit, et ipse Pater in loco inve- 
nietur et Filius: si de loco exit quein 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 dicunt quod habeat Spiritus 
iescensorium motum. . . . Venit non de loco in locum, sed de dispositione constitutiouis 
in salutem redemptionis." — Ambros. de Spir. Sane. lib. i. cap. 11. 


power and grace but in and towards them unto whom lie 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 
miuistereth to you the Spirit." 'O ouv Im^opriyuv b/jbTv rh Ilvsu/ia' — 
" He that giveth you continual or abundant supplies of the Spirit." 
Xoprjy's'jj is "to give a sufficiency of any thing;" and ^opriyla and 
X'^pnyw"' are dimensum, " a sufficiency of provision." An addition 
thereunto is iTixopnyia, whereby the communication of the Spirit is 
expressed: Phil. i. 19, " For I know that this shall turn to my salva- 
tion through your prayers," xai s'Triy^opriylag rov Uvsxjfiarog 'lyjffov XpiSrou, 
"and the additional supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ." That Spirit 
and its assistance he had before received, but he yet stood in need of 
a daily farther supply. So is the word used constantly for the adding 
of one thing to another, or one degree of the same thing unto another: 
2 Pet. i. 5, 'E'TTi'^opi^y/iffare sv ttj v'ksth Ifiuv rriv aptr-^V — " 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 his 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 Spirit 
upon him." The word there, indeed, is ''^nJ ^ — « I have given my 
Spirit upon him;" but because V^y, "upon him," is joined to it, 
it is by ours rendered by "put." As also Ezek. xxxvii. 14, where 
D33, " in you," is added;—" Put my Spirit in you." The same is 
plainly intended with that, Isa. Ixiii. 11, iK'li' n^iTlX innpa Dtrn^ — 
" That put his Holy Spirit in the midst of them." Hence, ''^ri3, « I 
have given," or "I will give," Isa. xlii. 1, is rendered by a;}<ra;, Matt, 
xii. 1 8 : e^jffw rl Unvixa (lou l?r' auTov, — "I will put my Spirit upon him." 
The word IDJ, then, used in this sense, doth not denote the granting 
or donation of any thing, but its actual bestowing, as tm 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 de- 


signs SO great a benefit and privilege, but lie actually collates and 
bestows him upon tliem.^ 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 Exod. xxxi. 6, " I have put 
wisdom," is as much as, " I have filled them with wisdom," verse 2. 
So, then, where God intendeth unto any the benefit of his Spirit, he 
will actually and effectually collate him upon them. He doth not,, 
indeed, 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 tabernacle to receive him. Num. 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 herd- 
man,- and a gatherer of sycomore fruit : 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 preparation 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 preparations for the receiving 
of this gift. But these things were extraordinary. Yet I no way 
doubt but that God doth yet continue 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 

Fifthly, God is said to pour him out, and that frequently : Prov. 
I 23, 'n^n n^h nv^ns n3n^_" Behold, I will pour out my Spirit unto 
you." y?J signifies " ebullire more scaturiginis," — " to bubble up 
as a fountain."^ Hence, the words are rendered by Theodotion,, 

' " Quid igitur Spiritus Sancti operatione divinius, cum etiam benedictionum suarum 
prsesulem Spiritum Deus ipse testetur, dicens, Ponam Spiritum meum super semen tuum, 
et bemdidiones meat super fiUos tuos. Nulla enim potest esse plena benedictio nisi per 
infusionem Spiritus Sancti." — Ambros. de Spir. Sane. lib. i. cap. 7- 

* " Significat autem efiFusionis verbum largam et divitem muneris abundantiam ; ita- 
que cum unus quis alicubi aut duo Spiritum Sanctum accipiant non dicitur, ' ElFundanfc 
VOL. III. 8 


'AvaZXltfu l/iTv Tlvsv/id fiov, — " Scaturire faciam," — "I will cause my 
Spirit to spring out unto you as a fountain." And it is frequently 
applied unto speaking, when it signifies " eloqui aut proferre verba 
more scaturigiuis." See Ps. Ixxviii. 2, cxlv. 7. And ^Va, also, which 
some take to be the root of i^V''^^, Prov. i. 23, hath the same sig- 
nification. And the word hath a double lively metaphor: for the 
proceeding of the Spirit from the Father is compared to the con- 
tinual rising of the waters of a living spring; and his communication 
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 wilderness be a fruitful field," — 1^7^ ^"^yiT^^ 
Diitsp nn. n^y [g^ indeed, sometimes "to pour out," but more pro- 
perly and more commonly " to uncover," " to make bare," " to re- 
veal;" — " 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, chap. Hi. 10. Chap. xliv. 3, " I will pour 
my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring." P^J, 
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 upon the house of Israel," — ''^^^'^, an- 
other word : this is properly to pour out, and that in a plentiful man- 
ner, [and is] the same word that is used in that great promise, Joel 
ii. 28, which is rendered, Acts ii. 17, by ix^ew, " effundam," — " I will 
pour out my Spirit;" and the same thing is again expressed by the 
same word, chap. x. 45, " On the Gentiles also was poured out the 
gift of the Holy Ghost," 

Let us, then, briefly consider the importance of this expression. 
And one or two things may be observed concerning it in general; 
as,— 1. Wherever it is used, it hath direct respect unto the times of 
the gosiiel. Either it is a part of the promises concerning it, or of the 
story of their 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 co7nparison 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 in- 
tended now to bestow him. A larger measure of the Spirit to be 

de Spiritu meo/ sed tunc quando in universas gentes munus Spiritus Sancti redunda. 
Tent. — Didym. de Spir. Sane. lib. I 


now given tlian was before, or is signified by any other expressions 
of the same gift, is intended 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-sufiScing fulness is expressed ; 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 there- 
of, and making it soft with showers,'' as Ps. Ixv. 10; which, with the 
things following in that place, verses 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," 
o£ it,i-xiiv i<p' niJ^ag irXoudictig, " 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 expressed: " The hving God, who 
giveth us richly all things to enjoy," 1 Tim. vi. 17. 2. T\n& 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 
plentifully and abundantly given at one time than at another, to 
some persons than to others. Wherefore this expression is metony- 
mical, 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. 
8. Respect is had herein unto some especial works of the Spirit. 
Such are the purifying or sanctifying, and the comforting or refresh- 
ing [of] 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 "fullers' 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 con- 
sumed. And when it is said of our Lord Jesus that he should " bap- 
tize with the Holy Ghost and with fire," Luke iii 16, it is but h bia. 


guo/V, the same tiling 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. 25, "I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be 
clean;" which is expounded, verse 26, by "A new spirit will I 
put within you;" which God calls his Spirit, verse 27. So our 
Saviour calls him " rivers of water," John vii. 38, 39 : see Isa. xliv. 3. 
And it is with regard unto his purifying, cleansing, and sanctifying 
our natures 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 respects his com- 
forting 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 thine offspring ; and they shall spring 
up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses," verse 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 holi- 
ness 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," 
Ps. Ixxil 6. The good Lord give us always of these waters and re- 
freshing showers! 

And these are the ways, in general, whereby the dispensation of 
the Spirit from God, for what end or purpose soever it be, is ex- 

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 ac- 
tions 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 hke manner: John xv. 26, " The Spirit of truth, 
which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me." There 
is a twofold ixrropsugig or " procession" of the Holy Ghost. The one 
is ^uff/xjj or uffoffrar/x^, " 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} The manner hereof 
unto us, in this life, is incomprehensible; therefore it is rejected 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.'' This is enough unto us, that we 
admit nothing in this great mystery but what is revealed. And no- 
thing is revealed unto us that is inconsistent with the being and sub- 
sistence of God ; for this procession or emanation includes no separa- 
tion or division in or of the divine nature, but only expresseth a 
distinction in subsistence, by a property peculiar to the Holy Spirit. 
But this is not that which at present I intend. The consideration of 
it belongeth unto the doctrine of the Trinity in general, and hath 
been handled elsewhere. Secondly, There is an Hiropivcig or " pro- 
cession" of the Spirit, which is oJxovo/xizri or " dispensatory." This is 
the egress of the Spirit in his application of himself unto his work. 
A voluntary 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. 26. 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 personal 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 pro- 
ceedeth 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 man as he will;" but in that Ix-rofeusT-a/, he 

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

" Spiritus quidem Sauctus nee ingenitus est nee genitus alicubi dicitur, ne si ingenitus 
dieeretur sicut Pater, duo Patres in Sancta Trinitate intelligerentur ; aut si genitus 
diceretur sicut Filius, duo itidem Filii in eadcm estimarentur esse Sancta Trinitate : 
sed tantummodo procedere de Patre et Filio salva fide dicendum est. Qui tamen non 
de Patre procedit in Filium, et de Filio pi'ocedit ad sanctificandam ci'caturam, sicut 
quidam male intelligentes credendum esse putabant, sed simul de utroque procedit. 
Quia Pater talem genuit Filium, ut quemadmodum de se, ita et de illo quoque procedat 
Spiritus Sanctus." — Aug. Serm. xxxviii. de Tempore. 

2 Oi yap I'jnila.v 'Ttifi.-xa.v a.xa.rtt.XriVTi)v to &i7(>v ^la touto iron vavrui jjirthoXaii Z,nrt~v 
trip) avrou -TrpoffriKly, dW' iv patrTuvfi tov tou [iiov xccroiyaXiirxiiv ^covov Kara ot to /iirpoT 
TO fiipifi}/ IxatrrM Tapa toZ xvpiiu, Tn; yvMTias Triv l^tToiriv ipiXov'ovuis vroii7ff(ar ori fitf . 
a.Ko.Ta.Xvi'Trrov dxpiSus vi'pni<rf^ivov;- l(p' o'irov Ss ^iupi>v/x,iv S/a t?,; ^sup'ia(, tcturovi ixiiytji 
evvurToiiras. — Justin. Martyr. Expositio Fidei de recta Confess. 


proceedeth of his own accord unto his work, his own will and 
condescension are also asserted. And this his proceeding 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 


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.'' Verse 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,"— '^^r^^ "^^? Dl"*]. " And the 
Spirit clothed Amasai," possessed his mind as a man's clothes cleave 
unto him. Acts xix. 6, " The Holy Ghost came on them, and they 
prophesied," ^X6s. "Epxo/^ai, " to come," is, as it were, the terminus 
ad quern of Ix-ro^guo/ia/, "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 intend eth 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 accommodate 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.^ And as there is 
no local motion to be thought of in these things, so they can in no 
tolerable sense be reconciled to the imagination of his being only the 
inherent virtue or an actual emanation and influence of the power 
of God. And hereby are our faith and obedience regulated in our 
dealing with God about him : for we maj'' 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, ac- 
cordhig 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. 15, where Peter, repeating the same matter, 
says, " The Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning," — 
that is, Acts ii. 4. A greatness and suddenness in a surprisal is in- 
tended 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 

• " Nullus sine Deo, neque ullus non in Deo locus est. In coelis est, in inferno est, 
ultra maria est. luest interior, cxcedit exterior. Itaque cum liabet atque habetur, 
neque in aliquo ipse, neque non in omnibus est." — Hilar, lib. L de Trinitat. 


that saw it were amazed, and falling on their faces, cried out, " The 
Lord he is the God ! " 1 Kings xviii. 38, 39. When men are no way 
in 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. 4'l-46; and so it was at the beginning of his effusion under 
the New Testament, chap. ii. 4, viii. 16. 

Fourthly, Being come, he is said to rest on the persons to whom 
he is given and sent : Isa. xi. 2, "And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest 
upon him." This is interpreted by "abiding" and "remaining," John 
i. 32, S3. Num. xi. 25, 26, " The Spirit of the Lord rested upon the 
elders." So the " spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha," 2 Kings ii. 15. 
1 Pet. iv. 14, " The Spirit of glory and of God resteth on you." 
Two things are included herein: — 1. 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 " singing," 
Zeph. iii. 1 7. 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. 1 6. 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 ajBfected 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 departed from him." 
And David prays that God would not " take his Holy Spirit from 
him," Ps. 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, there- 
fore, 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 government which before he had by his assist- 
ance. And this departure 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 convictions, 
by light and general assistance unto the performance of duties, he 
utterly deserts, and gives them up unto themselves and their own 
hearts' lusts. Examples hereof are common in the world. Men who 
have been made partakers of many " gifts of the Holy Ghost," and 
been in an especial manner enlightened, and, under the power of their 


convictions, carried out unto the profession of the gospel and the per- 
formance of many duties of religion, yet, being entangled by tempta- 
tions, 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 commandment 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 apostasy. And the condition of such pro- 
fligate sinners is, for the most part, irrecoverable, Heb. vi. 4-6/ 
X. 26-30. From some he withdraweth and deY>ajcteth partially o^^ly* 
and that mostly but for a season ; and this departure 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 bestowed 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. ] 4, " 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 sanctify- 
ing Spirit himself declares, chap. vii. 37-39. 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 depart 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 depart 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," Eev iii. 2; and they may apprehend them- 
selves deserted and forsaken of God,— so did Zion, Isa. xl. 27, 
xlix. 14: for therein doth God "hide himself," or "forsake his people 
for a small moment," cliap. liv. 7, 8. He " hideth himself, and is 
wroth," chap. Ivii. 1 7. These are the things 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 re- 
proach, 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 m 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' ap- 
j)lication 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 Scrip- 
ture 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 in- 
tercourse 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 Roman church, but the whole 
work of the Spirit of God upon the hearts of men, with all the effects 
produced in them with respect 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 befalls 
the minds of men upon the account of a sense of the guilt of sin; 
■whatever darkness and disconsolatiou 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 ar- 

There remaineth yet one general adjunct of the dispensation and 
work of the Holy Ghost, which gives a farther description ot the 
manner of it, which I have left unto a single consideration. This is 
that which is mentioned, Heb. ii. 4, "God bearing them witness, both 
with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles," xa/ HvshiMurog ' Ayiov 

• These initials refer to Samuel Parker, in whose " Defence and Continuation of thfi 
Ecclesiastical Polity," 1671, the sentiments to which Owen objects will be found. For 
an account of Parker, see yoL xiii., p. 344 of Owen's works. — Ed. 


liipidixoTg, " and gifts," say we, " of the Holy Ghost." But fiepig/j^oi are 
"distributions" or " partitions;" 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 Uvivfiarog 
' Aylou is genitivus materice. 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 per- 
sonality is apparent. But yet neither can he give any tolerable ac- 
count of the division 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.^ And the interpretation 
he useth of the words is wrested, perverse, and foolish; for the con- 
texture of them requires that the Holy Ghost be here taken actively, 
as the author of the distribution mentioned. He gives out of his 
gifts and powers unto 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. Of these he mentions in particular, first, 'Sri/MsTa, "signs;" 
that is, miraculous works, wrought to signify the presence of God by 
his power with them that wrought them, so giving out his approba- 
tion of the doctrine which they taught. Secondly, Tspara, " pro- 
digies" or "wonders," works beyond the power of nature or energy 
of natural causes, wrought to fill men with wonder and admiration, 
manifesting rh ^em, and surprising men with a sense of the presence 
of God.^ Thirdly, Avvd/j,iig, " 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 fispis/j^oi UvivfiaTog 
'Aywv, that is, ^S'-ipn nnn niJno "gifts of the Holy Ghost;" for these 
and other like things did the Holy Ghost work and effect to the end 

^ Tavra, oi/j-cu, ffa<pZs -xafa rZy Tpoip^rSv -rtp) roZ ayUv vfn6iJi.ciTos /t.if/.tih>ci>s UXdrtuv 
"f ? ^^"^ "-Jirn; oy.f^tt. fiSTCc^ii^^, (paUl-ra... 'Of^oiu; y^p ^V«^ cl hfo) ■;rp,f^ra, to Sv xa) 
ro avTO -rviv/^a. e;j s^ri -Tyiv/^a.ra. fiiplXi^^cc, (poLo-!,, oSrco k«.) eclros /jlIocv koc) rr,, aurh 

yi^ulm ccpiTnv, To^vr^, iig riff^ccpcc; dfirccs Mpilic^oc, x^yj/.— Justin. Martyr, ad Grcec. 
Coliortat., [cajj. xxxu.] i r r ^ a .; 

A liter statuit Cj'prianus seu quisquis fuit author lib. de Spir. Sane, inter opera 
( ■ypriani. ' Hic est Spiritus Sanctus quem Magi in ^gypto tertii signi ostensione con- 
vio 1, cum sua defecisse prsestigia laterentur, Dei digitum appellabant, et antiquis 
philosophis ejusintimarunt prcesentiam defuisse. Et licet de Patre et Filio aliqua sen- 
Bissent llatonici, Spiritus tamen tumidus et humani appetitor favoris santificationem 
mentis divinae nieren non potuit, et ubi ad profunditatem sacramentorum deventum 
est, oinni.^eoi-umcahgavit subtUitas, uec potuit infideUtas sanctitudini propinquare."— 


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, xara ttiv avroZ 
^iXriffiv, " 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 excep- 
tion 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 /xepisfj^o!, therefore, are his gifts; which, as parts and 
parcels of his work, he giveth out in great variety.^ 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 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," etc., — that is, he who is the author of wisdom 
and counsel, and the rest of the graces mentioned, who divides and 
distributes them according to his own will. That variety of gifts 
and graces wherewith believers are endowed and adorned are these 
fispis/u,cii, or " distributions," of the Holy Spirit. Hence, the principal 
respect 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 from " the seven Spirits 
which are before his throne," Rev. i. 4 ; that is, from 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 foundation 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 re- 
jected, — namely, that he is not a divine person, 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 says, indeed, "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 ;" 

ay'iov ■siiift.a.roi ruv TriffTiu'nTuv. — Origen. Comment, in Mattliasum. 


This is totum logicum. And so he may be divided into his subordi- 
nate 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 general, 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 measure,' John iii. 34; and to every one of us is 
given grace 'according to the measure of the gift of Christ,' Ep. iv. 7;" 
— 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 degrees; they were 
poured into him according unto the utmost 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 proportion, 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 understanding of 
that saying of God to Moses, Num. xi. 17, "I will take of the Spirit 
which is upon thee, and I will put it upon the elders;" for it is evi- 
dently of the gifts of the Spirit, enabling men for rule and govern- 
ment, 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 re- 
quested for himself, was only a large and peculiar measure of pro- 
phetical light, above what other prophets which he left behind him 
had received, 2 Kings ii. 9. He asked ^'.\f''^, " os duorum" or 
" duplex ;" rh hinrXoZv /j,spos, or to, htirXa. This expression is first used, 
Deut. xxi. 1 7, where the double portion 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 
desired: and so it came to pass; whence, also, he had the rule and 
government of thero. 




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 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 — Accidental adjuncts of prophecy — Symbolical actions — 
Local mutations — Whether unsanctified persons might have the gift of pro- 
phecy — The case of Balaam answered — Of wxiting 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. 

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 respect 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 violently, and of late virulently, opposed by all the enemies of 
the grace of God and our Lord Jesus Christ. The weight and con- 
cernment of the doctrine hereof have in part been spoken unto before. 
I shall at present add no farther considerations 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 dii-ected. 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 either 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 

Now, the works 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 
■ante our living unto God, ended with the entrance of sin and giving 


the first promise. "Whatever ensued thereon, in a way of grace, was 
preparatory for and unto the new. Secondly, Such as were actually 
wrought about it under the pew. Those acts and workings of his 
which are common to hoth states of the church, — as is his effectual 
dispensation of sanctifying grace towards the elect of God, — 1 shall 
handle in common under the second head. Under the first, I shall 
only reckon up those that were peculiar unto that state. To make 
way hereunto I shall premise two general positions: — 

1. There is nothing excellent amongst men, whether it be abso- 
lutely extraordinary, and every way above the production of natural 
principles, or whether it consist in an eminent and peculiar imp7^ove- 
tnent of those principles and abilities, but it is ascribed unto the 
Holy Spirit of God, as the immediate operator and efficient cause 
of it. This we shall afterward 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, — I. Such as were extraordinary, and ex- 
ceeding the whole compass of the abilities of nature, however im- 
proved and advanced ; and, II. 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 may be reduced unto three 
heads: — 1. Prophecy. 2. Inditing of the Scripture. S. 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 intellectiLal,—(\) For things sacred, 
as to preach the word of God ; (2.) In things artificial, as in Bezaleel 
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. 

I. 1. The first eminent gift and work of the Holy Ghost under the 
Old Testament, and which had the most direct and immediate respect 
unto Jesus Christ, was that of prophecy: for the chief and principal 
end hereof in the church was to foresignify 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 tidings 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 holi- 
ness to be erected therein, which was his highest attainment ; so the 
best of those 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 viil 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 
ws, that they without us should not be made perfect," Heb. xi, 40. 
That this was the principal end of the gift of prophecy Peter declares, 
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 rejection of the Jews, lest they should have 
been provoked to abolish the Scripture itself;^ but the sum and sub- 
stance 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 testimony unto the truth of 
God in the first promise, concerning the coming of the blessed Seed. 
This was God's method : — 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. Herewithal they received fresh revelations con- 
cerning his person and his sufferings, 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 dihgently endeavoured to come to an ac- 
quaintance with the things themselves, in their nature and efficacy, 
which were revealed unto them;^ yet so as considering that not 

^ 'Srifiliutrri V a; rivec fiiv I'l'pnTcci S/ alviyfidrav, tivo. dl (fiavipiCripov. ta f/,ty ovi oi iXix,- 
pu^ia; hyoZf/.ai tuv Ik ^ipirofiii; 'ivtxa x-ixccXXufifiivui a'T'^o-oc/r^ai, oia ra ^ttr-ril^ofiiva 
Ka.T ahrZv SKvipuxa.. Ai' avip iIko; nv xai atpansai etiirou; ttiv ypeeiphv, ti ix, tou "rpoipx- 
toZ; T«v yx'^'riv ai/Tuv a-jtoZoXni latifiaivn. — Euseb. Demonst. Evangel, lib. vi. Prooem. 

3 " Omnes prophetse ilia tantummodo sciebant quae illis fuissent a Domino revelata. 
Unde et rex Hieremiam dubio interrogat, Si in ea hora qua cum illo loqtiebatur aj>ud 
eum sermo Domini haberetur. Sed et Eliseus dicit, Quomodo hcec Dominus abscondit a 
vie; et Elias praster se esse alios qui Deum colerent ignoravit." — Hieron. Commeot, in 
Epist. ad Roman, cap. IL 


themselves, but some succeeding generations, 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 accomplished ; 
' both when it should be, and what manner of time it should be, or 
what would be the state and condition of 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 pro- 
mise was given by God in the person of the Son, as I have proved 
elsewhere, Gen. iii. 1 5 ; but the whole explication, confirmation, and 
declaration of it, was carried on by the gift of prophecy. 

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 tlie 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 Baptist ; 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," tuv 
(W aluvos, " which have been since the world began," Luke i. 70. 
Adam himself had many things revealed unto him, without which 
he could not have worshipped God aright in that state and condi- 
tion wherein to he was come ; for although his natural light was 
suflScient to diiect him unto all religious services required by the law 
of creation, yet was it not so unto all duties of that state where- 
into he was brought by the giving of the promise after the entrance 
of sin. So was he guided unto the observance of such ordinances 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 difldcult to demonstrate, 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 reve- 

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, " Know- 
ing this first, that no prophecy of the 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, 
verse 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 of 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 prophecy 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 hoAV 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, ascribes them directly to the Holy Ghost : Heb. iii. 7, 
" Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear his 
voice;" and chap. iv. 7, " Saying in David." So the words which are 
ascribed unto the "LoRD of hosts," Isa. vi. 9, 10, are asserted to be 
the words of the Holy Ghost, Acts xxviii. 25-27. 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 di- 

l 07 OS Tau Qiotj av^paToi 'rviufi.iicTa(popoi TvtufiarDs ky'iov, xa,) •rptuptJTcei yivofuvoi v-jr atirev 
Tov QioZ ifiTviVV^ivTis Koi ffoipitrfivTis lyivovra 3£o2iSaxr«(, xai offioi xai oixaioi. — Iheophll, 
ad Autolycum. lib. ii. 

" Prophetce voces itemque virtutes ad fidem divinitatis edebant." — Tertul. Apol. 
cap. xviii. 

OiS' avopoi TovTo voiut, jj aa^av tnot xoa 5-iiov ; v S'So; ccv'i^oi, <pain tis av, touto to yipas*- 
Kai yaj> oh tov fcavTius, to 5;ot(, aXXa to oti fio»oii iWilv. — Plotin. Enuoad. 111. lib. o. 

VOL. III. 9 


vine revelation. But the Hebrew X?3^ — whence are *5''23^ «a pro- 
phet," and ^^'^'^}, " prophecy," — is not confined unto any such signifi- 
cation, ahhough predictions from supernatural revelation are con- 
stantly expressed by it. But in general, secondly, the word signifies no 
more but to speak out, interpret, and declare the mind 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 de- 
clare his words unto Pharaoh, Moses having complained of the defect 
of his own utterance. 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 expounded the Scripture 
unto the church under the New Testament 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, ^'^^^, a " pro- 
phet," was of ancient use ; for so God termed Abraham, Gen. xx. 7. 
Afterward, in common use, a prophet was called "^^^l and i^jp, " a 
seer," because of their divine visions (and this was occasioned from 
those words of God concerning Moses, Num. xii. 6-8 ; 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 Q^iV^^'^fr?, "a man of God/'' 1 Sam. 
ii. 27; which name Paul gives to the preachers of the gospel, 1 Tim. 
vL 11, 2 Tim. iil 17. And it is not altogether unworthy of observation 
what Kimchi notes, that the verb ^^33 is most frequently used in the 
passive conjugation 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 extended to every true declaration of the mind 
of God, but only to that which is obtained by immediate revelation. 
TWis peculiar gift, therefore, of the Holy Spirit we may a little dis- 
tmctly inquire into ; and two things concerning it may be considered : 
—First, Its general nature; Secondly, The particular ways where- 
by especial revelation was granted unto any. First, For its nature 
in general, it consisted in inspiration.^ So the apostle speaks of the 

' " Sed et hoc notandum ex eo quod dixerat; ut videam quid loquatur, in me ; pro- 
rhetiam vis.onem et eloquium Dei non extrinsecus ad prophetas fieri, sed intrinseci^ et 
intenon homini respondere. Unde et Zacharias, et angelus inquit, qui loquebatur in 
tne. — Hieron. Comment, m Hab. cap. ii -i > -i ■» 


prophecies recorded in the Scripture, 2 Tim. iii. 16: S=oTi/euffr/a, 
divine inspiration, was the original and cause of it. And the actiiio- 
of the Holy Ghost in communicating his mind unto the prophets 
was called " inspiration" on a double account: — First, In answer 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 his nostrils 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 inbreathing. And the unclean spirit, counter- 
feiting his actings, did inspire his worshippers with a preternatural 
afflatus, by ways suited unto his own filthy vileness. Secondly, 
This holy work of the Spirit of God, as it is expressed suitably to 
his name and nature, so the meekness, gentleness, facility where- 
with he works is intended hereby. He did, as it were, gently and 
softly breathe into them the knowledge and comprehension of holy 
things. It is an especial and immediate work, wherein he acts suit- 
ably unto his nature as a spirit, the spirit or breath of God, and suit- 
ably unto his peculiar, personal properties of meekness, gentleness, 
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 ot him, nor speak any more in his name : but his word was 
in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary 
with forbearing, and 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 natures. And whereas sometimes trouble and con- 
sternation of spirit did befall some of the prophets in and under the 
revelations they received from him, it was on a double account: — 
First, Of the dreadful representations of things that were made 
unto them in visions. Things of great dread and terror were repre- 
sented unto their fancies and imaginations. Secondly, Of the great- 
ness and dread of the things themselves revealed, which sometimes 
were terrible and destructive, Dan. vii. 15, 28, viii. 27; Hab. iii. 16; 
Isa. xxi. 2-4, But his inspirations were gentle and placid. 

Secondly, The immediate effects of this inspiration were, that those 


inspired were moved or acted hy the Holy Ghost: " Holy men of God 
spake," lirh Uyev/Marog ' Ayiov (pipc/j!,ivoi, 2 Pet. i. 21, — "moved" or acted 
" by tiie Holy Ghost." And two things are intended hereby : — First, 
The preparation and elevation of their intellectual faculties, their 
minds and understandings, wherein his revelations were to be re- 
ceived. He prepared them for to receive the impressions he made 
upon them, and confirmed their mefnories 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 them- 
selves that were declared unto them ; there was more in their in- 
spirations than they could search into the bottom of.^ 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 mean- 
ing 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 edification did they dili- 
gently inquire, by the ordinary means of prayer and meditation, into 
the meaning of the Spirit of God in those prophecies which them- 
selves received by extraordinary revelation, 1 Pet. i. 10, 11. Nor 
did Daniel, who had those express representations and glorious visions 
concerning the monarchies of the world, and the providential altera- 
tions which should be wrought in them, imderstand 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 communi- 
cated 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 remember the things spoken by him, 
and so declare them to others; but he himself acted their faculties, 

J And -ivhoroas the ancients contend, against the Ebionites, Marcionites, and Mon- 
tanists, (as Kpiphanius, Advers. fireres. lib. ii. torn. 1; Hjeres. xlviii.; Hieion. I'rooeni. 
Comment, lu Isa.,) that the prophets were not used ecstatically, 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 tliat they were not in or by prophecy deprived of the use of their intellectual 
faculties.as It beleU satanical enthusiasts. r^Zru y^^ kXr>eZ; ^p.f^rZy b «>;^ ^v..>«r,. 

iff^fiiv,,, i;^;«VT«v Tny hr,vo,ccv Ka, rh S/Sao-xaX/av xai r^, "hixXoylocv, as EpiphaniuS speaks. 

\Vherefore, upon these words of Austin, " I'er quosdam scientes, per quosdam uescieutes, 
Id quod ex adventu Chnsti usque nunc et deinceps agitur prsenunciaretur esse venturum," 
de Civitat. Dei, lib. vu. cap. 32, one well adds, " Prophette nee omnes sua vaticinia 
mtelhgebant, ncc qui intelligebant omnia intelligebant : non enim ex se loquebantur sed 
ex supenore Dei afflatu ; cujus consilia non omnia eis erant manifesta ; utebaturque Deu<J 
lUis non velut consultis futurorum, sed instrumcutis quibus homines alloqueretur." 


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 devil. The 
utmost that Satan can do, is to make strong impressions on the ima- 
ginations of men, or influence their faculties, by possessing, wrest- 
ing, 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 suspicion whether 
their minds were under his conduct and influence 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 supernatural 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 insinuations, as that they shall 
for a while think them to be from God himself. But in the inspi- 
rations 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 nnij^^pia, or infallible tokens, they might know assuredly the in- 
spirations 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 in- 
terest in the ordinary 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 en- 
counter 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 evidence 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 those extraordinary workings there was such an impression of 
himself, his holiness, and authority, 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 d^/cTr/ffrov, " 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 
tliem as to the very organs of their bodies whereby they expressed 
the revelation which they had received 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," Ps. xlv. 1 ; that is, it was so guided by the Spirit of 
God to express the conceptions received from him. And on this ac- 
count God is said to speak by their mouths: " As he spake by the 
mouth of his 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 isthe meaningof "one voice" or "one mouth" 
in a multitude, " The Holy Ghost spake by the mouth of David," 
Acts i. 1 6, 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 alloy 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. 1 2, 
he says, " All this the Lord made me understand in writing by his 
hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern,"^ verse li). 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 himself 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. 

(L) It remaineth that, as unto this first extraordinary work 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 adjuncts of prophecy. Some, following 
Maimonides in his " More Nebuchim," have, from the several ways 
of the communication of divine revelations, distinguished the degrees 
of prophecy or of the gifts of it, preferring one above another. This I 
have elsewhere disproved, "Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews," 
chap. i. Neither, 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 prescribes, and with Tatianus 
seems to give countenance unto.'' The distinct outward manners and 

1 " Ncc aer voce pulsatus ad aures eorum perveniebat, sed Deus loquebatur in animo 
proplietannn " — Hieioii. rrooeni., in lib. i. Comment, in Isa. 

2 UnZfitt. Si ToZ ei»? vapa (tSt/v f^h olx. timy, Uapa Vi Tiffi ro7s hxaloi; voXirtv fiUoig 


ways of revelation mentioned in the Scriptures may be reduced unto 
three heads: — 1. Voices; 2. Dreams; S. 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 re- 
duce 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 impressions on the fantasy or imagination; 
3. By pure acts of the understanding : so God by three ways re- 
vealed 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 inspiration, I cannot acknowledge 
it as a distinct way of revelation by itself, for it was that which was 
absolutely necessary to give an infallible assurance of mind in the 
other ways also ; and setting that aside, there is none of them but 
is 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 unto him face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend," 
Exod. xxxiii. 11; Num. xii. 8. And as far as I can observe, the 
whole revelation made unto Moses was by outward, audible, articu- 
late voices, whose sense was impressed on his mind by the Holy 
Spirit; for an external voice without an inward elevation and dispo- 
sition 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. 12-18, as also to Samuel and Jeremiah, 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 
authority with them. This was not the usual way of God's reveal- 
ing 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 effectual impression on their minds 
which we have before described. And these voices were either im- 
mediately created 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 formation and 
pronunciation of them. But, as we observed before, the divine 
certainty of their minds to whom they were spoken, with their 
abilities infallibly to declare them unto others, was from an imme- 

xarayofziviDi, Kit) ffUfivXncifiivov rn -^u^n, Si« ■;rf-a.yofiiiffia)i tuTs Xoixoii; "^v^att f xl»(Uftr 
fj-ivot kinyyuXi Tatiau. Assjr. Coutia. Graeoos. 


diate internal work of the Spirit of God upon them. Without this 
the prophets might have been imposed on by external audible voices, 
nor wordd they by themselves give their minds an infallible assur- 

Secondly, Dreams were made use of under the Old Testament to the 
same purpose, and unto them also I refer all those visions which they 
had in their slee]), though not called dreams;^ and these, in this case, 
were the immediate operation of the Holy Ghost, as to the divine and 
infallible impressions they conveyed to the minds of men. Hence, in 
the promise of the plentiful pouring out of the Spirit, or communication 
of his gifts, mention is made of dreams : Acts ii. 17, "I will pour out 
of my Spirit upon all flesh : and your sons and your daughters shall 
prophesy, and 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 nocturnal visions under the New Testament ; but 
the intention of the words is, to show that there should be a plenti- 
ful effusion of that Spirit which acted by these various ways and 
means then under the Old. Only, as to some particular directions 
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 " deep sleep fell upon him, and horror of great darkness," Gen. xv. 
12-16 ; 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 upon 
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 reve- 
lation was so common, that one who pretended to prophesy would cry 
out, 'r\}2bn ^F\tpbn^ " i i^ave 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. i. 63, 
Kalyup T ovap Jx Aiog lariv, — "A dream is from Jupiter." 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 Judasi somnia vendunt."— [Juv., yi. 546.] 

Thirdly, God revealed himself in and by visions or representations 
of things to the iniuard or outward senses of the prophets. And 

• V' ^""*,.''"\T ™"^*.'' Sf"^'"'' proplietandi, quorum Unum est sommorum quale fuit 
in Uamele. — Hieron. m Hieremian, cap. 23. 


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 tipie was called a " seer," and that because in their receivino- 
of their prophecies they saw visions also. So Isaiah terms his wliole 
glorious prophecy, ^l^ "^^'^ f^^^, " The vision which he saw," chap. 
i. 1 ; partly from the especial representations of things that were made 
unto him, chap. vi. 1-4 ; 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 mspection 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 
persons with its execution. But when false prophets began to make, 
frequent use and to serve themselves of this expression, it was forbid- 
den, Jer. xxiii. 33, 36 ; and yet we find that there is mention hereof 
about the same time, it may be, by Habakkuk, chap. i. 1 ; as also after 
the return from the captivity, Zech. ix. 1, Mai. i. 1. Either, there- 
fore, this respected that only season 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 judg- 
ments against them, which God here rebukes them for and threatens to 
revenge. But none of the prophets had all their revelations 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 Isaiah, chap.vi.; Jeremiah, chap, i.11-16; Ezekiel,chap.i., and 
the like. Now, these visions were of two sorts :^ — 1. Outward repre- 
sentations of things unto the bodily eyes of the prophets; 2. Inward 
representations unto their minds. 1. There were sometimes ajopear- 
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, ministering angels; as hath been proved else- 
where. So was the burning 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 seething-pot and almond- 

» " Propheta Deum, qui corporaliter invisibilis est, non corporaliter sed spiritualiter 
videt. Nam multa genera visionis in Scripturis Sanctis inveniuntur. Unum secun- 
dum oculos corporis, sicut vidit Abraham tres viros sub ilice Mambi-e; alteram secun- 
dvmi quod imaginamur ea quiB per corpus sentimus. Nam et pars ipsa nostra cum 
Divinitus assumitur, multa revelantur non per oculos corporis, aut aures, aliumve 
eensum carnalem, 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 intellectu conspiciuntur Veritas et sapientia; sine quo genere ilia duo quae 
prius posui vel infructuosa sunt vel etiam in errorem mittunt." — August, contra Adam- 
aatum, cap. xiviiL 


rod seen by Jeremiah, chap. i. 11, 13, as also his baskets of figs, [chap, 
xxiv. 1-3;] and many more of the like kind might be instanced in. 
In these cases God made representations of things unto their outward 
senses. 2. They were made sometimes 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 :" 
*E'7rt'7rs(!sv W avTov 'ixttTaeig, Acts x. 10. An " ecstasy seized on him," 
whereby for a season he was deprived of the use of his bodily senses. 
And to this head I refer Daniel's and the apocalyptical visions. Espe- 
cially I do so [refer] all those wherein a representation was made of 
God himself and his glorious throne; such as that of Micaiah, 1 Kings 
.xxii. 19-22; and Isaiah, chap, vi.; and Ezekiel, chap. i. 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 power- 
fully 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 apprehension 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 required 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 as- 
surance that their visions were from God. 2. His enabhng them 
faithfully to retain, and infallibly to declare, what was so represented 
unto them. For instance, Ezekiel receiveth a vision, by way of re- 
presentation 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 introduced, chap. xli.-xlvi. It seems utterly impos- 
sible for the mind of man to conceive and retain at once all the har- 
monious structure, dimensions, and laws of the fabric represented. 
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 Solomon, " in writing by his hand upon him." 

(2.) There were some accidental adjuncts of prophecy, which at 
some times accompanied it: — 

First, In the revelation of the will of God to the prophets, they were 
sometimes enjoined symbolical actions. So Isaiah was commanded 


to " walk naked and bare-foot," chap. xx. 1-3 ; Jeremiah, to dispose 
of a " linen girdle," chap. xiii. 1-5 ; Ezekiel, to " lie in the siege," 
chap. iv. 1-3, and to remove the " stufif of his house," chap, xii. 3, 4 ; 
Hosea, to take " a wife of whoredoms, and children of whoredoms," 
chap. 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 whoredoms, 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 visions, 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. 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 Ezekiel 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. 

Secondly, Their revelations were accompanied with local mutations, 
or rather being carried and transported from one place unto another. 
So was it with Ezekiel, chap. viii. 3, xi. 24. And it is expressly said 
that it was "in the visions of God." Falling, by divine dispensation, into 
a trance or ecstasy, wherein their outward senses were suspended [in] 
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 croXur/JOTr/a r^$ ^iixg emXveeus, or manifold variety of 
divine revelations, mentioned Heb. i. 1. 

But here a doubt of no small difficulty nor of less importance pre- 
sents itself unto us, — namely, whether the Holy Ghost did ever 
grant the holy inspirations, and the gift of prophecy thereby, unto 
men wicked and unsanctified ;^ for the apostle Peter tells us that 
"holy men spake of old as they were moved by the Holy Ghost," 
2 Pet. i. 21, which seems to intimate that all those who were in- 
spired and moved by him, as to this gift of prophecy, were holy men 
of God.'' And yet, on the other hand, we shall find that true pro- 

J " Prophetse erant Baal, et prophetse confusionis, et alii ofifensionum, et quoscunque 
vitiosos prophetasScriptura commemorat." — Hieron. Comment. in Epist. ad Titum. cap. i. 

^ Z)iTyi(riis Ss £(' TcivTis, it ti; Tpo^riTlvii, Ik •TrvivfjMTOi ayiou TfOipiiTivii ; nru; oi ou '^riT'/i- 
ffiui a^t'o)! iffTiv, i'l'yi iiaSiS ^(Ta Tij* tiri tou Oufiov i/^afTiav tlXa^ovfUiios a,<pa.i(i6y,)ia,i a,r 


phecies 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 sorcerer that gave 
himself to diabolical enchantments and divinations; and, as such an 
one, was destroyed by God's appointment. 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 in- 
clination, he gave cursed advice and counsel for the drawing of the 
people of God into destructive and judgment-procuring sins, Num. 
xxxi. 16. And in the whole of his enterprise he thought to have 
satisfied his covetousness with a reward for cursing them by his en- 
chantments. And yet this man not only professeth of himself that 
he "heard the words of God," and "saw the vision of the Almighty," 
Num. xxiv. 4, but did actually foretell and prophesy glorious things 
concerning Christ and his kingdom. Shall we, then, think that the 
Holy Spirit of 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 show 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 terrified him," 1 Sam. xvi. 14; and yet, afterward, that 
the " Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied," chap, 
xix. 23. 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 aid 
false worship of Jeroboam, was yet esteemed a prophet, and did fc j- 
tell what came to pass, 1 Kings xiii. 1 1-29, 

Sundry things may be offered for the solution of this difficulty; 
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 person- 
ally holy, but only that for the most part so they were. (2.) He 
seems to speak particularly of them only who were pienmen of the 

a'tiToZ re Syi'tv ^viZf^a (p„^,. ^To -^nvfia. to Sywv erau f^r, avTetviXri; aV If^od .... OL'rco Tt 
Z»Tr.<rius al,iv iari ri ■;rif'i rou ay'iou -rviufiaros t'l Ima-ra., iTvai La) h ai^afTuXu -^vvTl 

Origen. Coniineiitar. in Joban. torn. 30. ' 

"Proplietiie niysterio usi sunt etiain qui exorbitaverant a vera religiOne, quia et illis 
dcdit l)cus verbuin suum ut mysteria futura pronunciarent hominibus."— Hieron. Com- 
ment, in Job. cap. xxxiii. 

"Nam et prophetare et dasmonia excludere et virtutes magnas in terris facere sub- 
limis utique et admirabilis res est, non tamen regnum cceleste consequitur quisquis m 
his omnibus invcnitur, nisi recti et justi itineris observatione gradiatur."— Cyprian. 
de Uuitat. Ecclesi;fi. 


Scripture, and of those prophecies wliich. remain therein for tlie in- 
struction of the church ; concerning whom I no way doubt but that 
they were all sanctified and holy. (3.) It may be that he under- 
standeth not real inherent holiness, but only a separation and dedi- 
cation unto God by especial office ; which is a thing of another na- 
ture. 2. The gift of prophecy is granted not to be in itself 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 holiness in the heart. Another 
work of the Holy Ghost was necessary hereunto. 3. There is, there- 
fore, no inconsistency in this matter, that God should grant an im- 
mediate inspiration unto some that were not really sanctified. And 
yet I would not grant this to have been actually done without a just 
limitation; 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 sanctified by the Holy Spirit 
of God. But others there were who had only some occasional dis- 
coveries 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 
nmst grant, — that many such persons may be so acted by the Holy 
Spirit of God. So was it with wicked Caiapha£, who is said to " pro- 
phesy," 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 intention, 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 sor- 
cerer, and the devil's prophet, I acknowledge it is of importance. 
But sundry things may be offered for the removal of it. Some do 
contend that Balaam was a prophet of God only ; that indeed he 

* Ef ri; fiiv ouv Xifo^rims itrr) vravreoi vpaPnTiiir £/' Ss t;j -rpofnTivit eh rriyrus iffri Tlfo- 

Arims Ex ?£ Tar Tipi Tov Ka/aifav dfa'yi'yptxfiiu.ivav, 'rpolfyinvffcoira mp) rou ffuTn- 

fps, 'ifrtv oTi Kn.) fio^irt^k t^u;^*! tir(S£;^eTa/ trort ri trfit>:pnTivii)i. — Origen. Coanuent. in 
Jolian. sect. 30. 


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 ex- 
pressly said that he "sought for enchantments," Num. xxiv. 1, so 
the whole description of his course and end gives him up as a cursed 
sorcerer: and he is expressly called Cipipn^ "the soothsayer," Josh. xiii. 
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 diaboli- 
cal diviner or soothsayer. And for what he said of himself, that he 
" heard the words of God," and " saw the vision of the Almighty," it 
might be only his own boasting to procure veneration to his diaboli- 
cal 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 testimony to 
the nations concerning the coming of the Messiah, the report where- 
of 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 over-rule the power 
of the devil, cast out his suggestions from the man's mind, and gave 
such an impression 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 sometimes 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 " ser- 
vants of the most high God," to " show to men the way of salva- 
tion," Acts xvi. 16, 17. And this must be acknowledged by them 
who suppose that the sibyls gave out predictions concerning Jesus 
Christ, seeing the whole strain of their prophetical oracles were ex- 
pressly diabolical. And no conspiracy of men or devils shall cause 
iiira 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, moderation, 
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 vexatious 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 [as] for the old prophet at 
Bethel, 1 Kings xiii. 11-32, although he appears to have been an evil 
man, yet he was one whom God made use of to reveal his mind 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 pro- 
phet, and the word of the Lord did really come unto him, verses 

2. 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 prophets 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 prophets, in the strict sense of that name. And the apostle 
tells us that the ypapri, the scripture or writing itself, was by " in- 
spiration of God," 2 Tim. iii. 1 6 ; 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 description into writing, 1 Chron. 
xxviii. 19. Now, this ministry 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 beginning and pattern 
of the Scriptures. The writers of the historical books of the Old 
Testament before the captivity are unknown. The Jews call them 
D^JIl^'Xl D''K^33, "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 by the Holy Ghost. Hence are they called " pro- 

1 "ISaul invidise stimulo snscit.atus et malo spiritu sgepe arreptus, cum David occi- 
dcre vellct, et ipse David tunc cum Samuelc et caeterorum prophetarum cuneo prophe- 
taret, misit Raul nuncios et ipsum interficiendum dc medio prophetarum rapere jubet. 
— Sed et ipse cum inter proplietas venerat prophetabat. — Quoniam Spiritus Bancti 
verba non dicentium merito pcnsantur, sed ipsius volurtate ubicunque voluerit profc- 
jTintur. At vero qnidam in hoc loco aestimant quod Saul non Divino Spiritu sed malo 
illo quo ssepe arripiebatur per totum ilium diem prophetaret. . . . Sed qualiter hoc 
eentiri potest cum ita scrilDitur ; et factus est super eum Spiritus Domini et ambu- 
lans prophetabat ? nisi forte sic in hoc loco accipitur Spiritus Domini quomodo et alio 
loco Spiritus Domini malus Saul arripiebat. Verumtamen ubicunque sine additamento 
Spiritus Dei vel Spiritus Domini vel Spiritus Christi in Scripturis Sanctis invenitur, 
Spiritus Sanctus esse a nullo sano sensu dubitatur. Ubicunque vero cum additamento 
Spiritus Domini malus dicitur esse, intelligitur diabolus esse, qui Domini propter 
minist^rium, malus propter vitium dictus videtur." — August, de Mirabil. Scripturse, 
lib. ii. cap. 10. 


phets;" 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 time (although they might be furnished with and 
skilled in these things), but by the inspiration, guidance, and direc- 
tion 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 de- 
scribed, 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 : — First, 
Theinspiration of the mindsof these prophetswith the knowledge and 
apprehension of the things communicated unto them. Secondly, The 
suggestion of words unto them to express what their minds conceiv- 
ed. Thirdly, 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 
Jeremiah from his mouth, Jer. xxxvi. 4, 1 8. If either of these were 
wanting, the Scripture could not be absolutely and every way di- 
vine and infallible; for if the penmen of it were left unto them- 
selves in any thing wherein that writing was concerned, who can 
secure us that nihil humani, no human imperfection, mixed itself 
therewithal? I know some think that the matter and substance of 
things only was communicated 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 variety 
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 abilities." 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 coun- 
tenance 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 act 
them any otherwise than they are in their own natures, and with 
their present endowments and qualifications, meet to be acted and 
used. He leads and conducts them in such paths as wherein they 
are able to walk. The worda, 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 themselves. So he that 
useth diverse seals maketh different impressions, though the guidance 
of them all he equal and the same ; and he that toucheth skilfully- 
several musical instruments, variously tuned, maketh several notes of 
music. We may also grant, and do, that they used their own abilities 
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 themselves, 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, ofttimes, 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. 18. But I have on other 
occasions treated of these things, and shall not, therefore, here enlarge 
upon them.^ 

3. The third sort of the immediate extraordinary operations of 
the Holy Ghost, absolutely exceeding the actings and compliance 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 exceed- 
ing, if the Jews fail not in their computation, all the rest that are 
recorded in the Scripture. 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, how- 
ever applied unto operation. Now, it is said expressly 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, per- 
sonally 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 

' See his treatises on " The Divine Original of the Scriptures," "Vindication of Greek: 
and Hebrew Texts," and "Exercitationes adversus Fanaticos," vol. xvi. of his worka. 

VOL. IIL ^^ 


have declared before. 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 qualit}^ 
Acts iii. 12, 16; only, they were infallibly 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, 
chap. X. 12. There was no power in Joshua, no, noti[even] extra- 
ordinarily communicated 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 " the LoRD hearkened 
unto the voice of a man," verse 1 4. It is a vanity of the greatest mag- 
nitude in some of the Jews, as Maimonides, (" More Nebuch.," p. 2, 
cap. XXXV.,) Levi B. Gerson on the place, and others, who deny any 
fixation of the sun and 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. xlv., xlvi., so it is no small prevarication in some 
Christians to give countenance imto 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 reputation 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 consideration 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 signs before 
them, that they might beheve that he was sent of God, Exod. iv. 8, 9. 
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. 

II. 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: — 

1. He had in them respect unto things political. Such were his 
gifts whereby he enabled sundry persons unto rule and civil govern- 
ment amongst men. Government, or supreme rule, is of gieat con- 
cernment 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 gifcs and abilities of mind are required in them 
and needful for them who are called thereunto. These are they 
themselves to endeavour after, and sedulously to improve the mea- 
sures which 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 ordinary endeavours, and an ordinary 
blessing thereon, is not sufficient for some especial ends which God 
aimed at in a.nd by their rule and government, the Holy Ghost did 
oftentimes 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 sanhedrim, or court of seventy elders, to 
bear together with Moses the burden of the people in their rule and 
government, the Lord is said to "put his Spirit upon them ;" and [it is 
said] that " the Spirit rested on them:" Num. xi. 16, 17, " And the 
Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of 
Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers 
over them. And I will take of the Spirit which is upon thee, and will 
put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with 
thee." Verse 25, " And the Lord took of the Spirit that was upon 
Moses, and gave it unto the seventy elders, and the Spirit rested upon 
them." That which these elders were called unto was a share in the 
supreme rule and government of the people, which was before en- 
tirely in the hand of Moses. This the occasion of their call declares, 
verses 11-15. And they were t^^iob'^ "inferior officers" before, such 
as they had in Egypt, who influenced the people 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 Ci''^'^.^, or " gods ;" for these were they " unto whom the 
word of God came," who were thence called gods, John x. 34-36, 


Ps. 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, 
wrouo-ht the same abilities for government in them as he had re- 
ceived, — that is, wisdom, righteousness, diligence, courage, and the 
like, that they might judge the people wisely, and look to the execu- 
tion of the law impartially. Now, when the Spirit of God thus rested 
on them, it is said " They prophesied, and did not cease," Num. xi. 25, 
26; that is, they sang or spake forth the praises of God in such a 
way and manner as made it evident unto all that they were extra- 
ordinarily acted by the Holy Ghost. So is that word used, 1 Sara. 
X. 10, and elsewhere. But this gift and work of prophecy was not 
the especial 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 
iiSD^ N?l^ which we render " And did not cease," — " They prophesied, 
and did not cease," verse 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 government 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 expressed, to endow him with that wisdom 
and magnanimity that might make him meet for kingly rule. And 
because he was new called from a low condition unto royal dignity, 
the communication of the Spirit of God unto him was accompanied 
with a visible sign and token, that the people might acquiesce 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," verses 10, 11. And in like manner he dealt with others. 
For this cause, also, he instituted the ceremony of anointing at their 
inauguration ; for it was a token of the communication of the gifts 
of the Holy Ghost unto them, though respect was 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 pru- 
dence, righteousness, courage, zeal, clemency, and the like. And 
when the Holy Ghost fell \ipon any persons to enable them for poli- 
tical rule and the administration of the civil power, he did not com- 
municate gifts and abilities unto them quite of another kind, but 
only gave them an extraordinary improvement of their own ordinary 


abilities. And, indeed, so great is the burden wherewith a just and 
useful government is attended, so great and many are the tempta- 
tions 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 know- 
ledge for rule before them all, 2 Chron. i. 7-12; and this he re- 
ceived from him who is the " Spirit of wisdom and understanding," 
Isa. xi. 2. And if the rulers of the earth would follow this example, 
and be earnest with God for such supplies of his Spirit as might en- 
able 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 especial 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 of, and did re- 
ceive, especial aid from the Spirit of God, though he was in himself 
but a "ravenous bird" of prey, chap, xlvi, 11: for the gifts of this 
Holy One in this kind wrought no real holiness in them on whom 
they were bestowed ; 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 bestowed 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 government 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 persons for the accom- 
plishment of some especial design. So he came upon Gideon and 
upon Jephthah, to anoint them unto the work of delivering the peo- 
ple from their adversaries in battle, Judges vi. 34, xi. 29. It is said 
before of them both that they were "men of valour," chap. vL 12, 
xi. 1. This coming, therefore, of the Spirit of God upon them, and 
clothing of them, was his especial excitation of their courage, and 
his fortifying of their minds against those dangers they were to con- 
flict withal. And this he did by such an efficacious impression of 


Lis power upon them as that both themselves received thereby a 
confirmation of their call, and others might discern the presence of 
God with tliem. Hence it is said that the "Spirit of the Lord 
clothed them/' they being warmed in themselves and known to 
others by his gifts to and actings of them. 

3. There are sundry instances of his adding unto the gifts of the 
7)iind, 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," Judges 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 violated 
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 Bezaleel and 
Aholiab with wisdom and skill in all manner of curious workman- 
ship, about all sorts of things, for the building and beautifying of the 
tabernacle, Exod. xxxi. 2, 3. Whether Bezaleel 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 endow- 
ments were extraordinary. The Spirit of God heightened, and im- 
proved, and strengthened the natural faculties of his mind to a per- 
ception and understanding of all the curious works mentioned in 
that place, and unto a skill how to contrive and dispose of them 
into the order designed by God himself. And, therefore, although 
the skill and wisdom mentioned differed not in the kind of it from 
that which others -attained by industry, yet he received it by an im- 
mediate afilatus 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 ex- 
planation 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 everything 
that is praise- worthy in the church must have been inquired into; for 

CHAP, l] preparatory TO THE NEW CREATION. 151 

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 mani- 
fest 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 exemplifications 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 the self-same Spirit, which divideth to every man severally 
as he will.'" And if this were the state of things under the Old Tes- 
tament, 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 is of any 
great use unto us. And whereas we find everything that is good, 
even under the Old Testament, assigned unto him as the sole imme- 
diate author of it, it is hard to persuade, with many, that he con- 
tinues 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 ourselves. So diverse, yea, so adverse, 
are the thoughts of God and men in these things, where our thoughts 
are not captivated unto the obedience of faith 1 

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 mean- 
ing must be, that it did so as to the gifts of ministerial prophecy, of 
miracles, and of writing the mind of God by inspiration for the use 
of the church. Otherwise there is no truth in their observation ; for 
there were afterward especial revelations of the Holy Ghost granted 
unto many, as unto Simeon and Anna, Liike ii. 25-38; and others 
constantly receive of his gifts and graces, to enable them unto obedi- 
ence, 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 consideration — 
" 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 on 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 when he left the world — The ends 
for which he promised him — The work of the new creation 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 principally 
intended in the whole, and that because our faith and obedience are 
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 
divine 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 persons 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 continu- 
ance of the Mosaical pedagogy. But this dispensation 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, because that Jesus was not yet glorified," John vil 
Sy ; 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 Testa- 
ment ; 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 I shall add some 
considerations 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 princi- 
pally prophesied of and foretold as the great privilege and pre-emi- 
nence 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 coming 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 con- 
tinuance. If, therefore, 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 Scriptures, and inquire dili- 
gently 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 were fanatical and unin- 
telligible 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 " re- 
ceive him," yet they who believe do know him; for "he dwelleth with 
them, and shall be in them," John xiv. 1 7. And the present practice 
of the world, in despising and slighting the Spirit of God and his 
work, gives light and evidence into 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 [so] doth it, 
[so] is it 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. 8; and it 
is so in opposition to the " ministration of the law," wherein yet 
there were a multitude of ordinances ot worship and glorious cere- 
monies. And he who knows no more of the ministry of the gospel 
but what consists in an attendance unto the letter of institutions 
and the manner of their performance knows nothing of it. Nor yet 


is there any extraordinary afSatus or inspiration now intended or 
attended unto, as we are slanderously reported, and as some afBrm 
that we pretend; but there is that presence of the Spirit of God 
with the ministry of the gospel, in his authority, assistance, commu- 
nication 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 declared after- 
ward; for, — 

S. The promise and gift of the Spirit under the gospel is not 
made nor granted unto a,ny peculiar sort of persons only, but unto all 
believers, as their conditions and occasions do require. They are not, 
therefore, the especial interest 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 shown. Others, also, grant the continuance of this gift, but 
understand no more by it but an ordinary blessing upon men's 
rational endeavours, 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 dis- 
ciples 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. 16, 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 believe, 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 carcase 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 edi- 
fication of the church, Eph. iv. 11-13. The owning, therefore, and 
avowmg 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 prin- 
cipal part of that profession which at this day all believers are called 

4. We are taught in an especial manner to pray that God would 
rnve 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 Saviour, enjoining an importunity 
in our supplications, verses 9, 10, and giving us encouragement that 
we shall succeed in our requests, verses 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," verse 13; which in the 
other evangelist is "good things," Matt. vii. 11, 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 prescription 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 signal pro- 
mise of our blessed Saviour, to send him as a comforter, to abide with 
us for ever, is a directory for the prayers of the church in all gene- 
rations. Nor is there any church in the world fallen under such a 
total degeneracy but that, in their public offices, there are testimo- 
nies of their ancient faith and practice, in praying for the coming of 
the Spirit unto them, according to this promise of Christ. And 
therefore our apostle, in all his most solemn pra3'ers 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 constantly 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 gos- 
pel. This we are to attend unto, as that whereon our eternal hap- 
piness doth depend. God knows our state and condition, and we 
may better 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, througli the power of our cor- 
ruptions and temptations, and " know not what we should pray for 
as we ought," Rom. viii. 26. But our heavenly Father knows per- 
fectly 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 en- 
joined us to ask and what he hath promised 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 [about] to leave this 
world by death, [John xiv. 15-1 7.] And whereas he therein made and 
confirmed his testament, Heb. ix. 15-17, he bequeathed his Spiiit 
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, in- 
deed, bequeathed 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 mercies for par- 
ticular ends and purposes. The Holy Spirit he bequeaths to supply 
his own absence, John xvl 13; 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 purposes 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 be- 
longed 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 pretended 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 therefore hath the abuse of them 
been punished with blindness and idolatry. But this [gift of the 
Spirit] is openly testified unto in the gospel. 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 promiseth to 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 supplies. According, there- 
fore, unto our valuation and esteem of him, to 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 where- 
unto he is sent by God the Father and by Jesus Christ ; for there 
is included therein a contempt of them also. Nor will a pretence of 
honouring God in their own -way secure such persons as shall con- 
tract 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 consider 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 world we are or can be made partakers 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 assisting, be made to appear 
by instances of all sorts in our ensuing discourse. And these con- 
siderations I thought meet to premise unto our entrance into that 
work which now lieth before us. 

(1.) The great work whereby God designed to glorify himself ulti- 
mately 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 confessed by all Christians, so I have else- 
where insisted on the demonstration of it. (2.) That which God 
ordereth and designeth 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 existence, and excel- 
lencies; for from their discovery and manifestation, with the duties 
which as known they require from rational creatures, doth the glory 
of God arise, and no otherwise. (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 in- 
visible God," Col. i. 15 ; " The brightness of his glory, and the express 
image of his person," Heb. i. 3; in whose face the knowledge 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 pro- 
perties of the nature of God are manifested and displayed incompa- 

> " Gratias ago tibi clementissime Deus, quia quod qusesivi mane prior ipse donasti." — 
Cypr. de Baptism. Christi. 


rahly above what they were in the creation of all things in the be- 
jvinning. 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 accord- 
ino- to his will. (4.) In particular, in this new creation he hath re- 
vealed 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 pur- 
pose, — 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, and towards us, in the accomplishment of 
" the counsel of his own will;" see Eph. i. 4-12. And this revelation 
is made unto us, not that our minds might be possessed with the no- 
tions 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 exer- 
cise communion with him, until we come to the enjoyment of him. 

We may make application of these things unto, and exemplify 
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 pro- 
curing cause and means of the effects of that design, with its accom- 
plishment in itself Sind 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 everywhere. His will, his counsel, 
his love, his grace, his authority, his purpose, his design, are con- 
stantly proposed as the foundation of the whole work, as those which 
were to be pursued, effected, accomplished: see Isa. xlii. 1-4; Ps. 
xl. 6-8; John iii. 16; Isa. hii. 10-12; Eph. i. 4-12, and other places 
innumerable. And on this account, because the Son undertook to 
eifect whatever the Father had so designed and purposed, there were 
many acts of the will of the Father towards the Son,— [as] 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, 
9Jjd wisdom, that were in them, their actual operation belonging par- 


ticularly unto another person. And in these things is the person of the 
Father in the divine being proposed uuto us to be known and adored. 
Secondly, The Son condescendeth, consenteth, and engageth to do 
and accomphsh 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. And in these divine operations is the person of the 
Son revealed unto us to be "honoured even as we honour the Father." 
Thirdly, The Holy Ghost doth immediately work and effect what- 
ever was to be done in reference unto the person of the Son or the 
sons of men, for the perfecting and accomplishment of the Father's 
counsel and the Son's work, in an especial 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- 
cidiar 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 Son 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 a-sumption — 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 — Pie 
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 Son of the Holy Ghost according to the human nature — Dif- 
ference 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 conception 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 crea- 
tion 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 beads we shall consider them. 


First, therefore, we are to inquire what are the operations of the 
Holy Ghost in reference unto Jesus Christ, the Head of the church. 
And these were of two sorts: — I. Such as whereof the person of 
Christ in his human nature was the immediate object. II. Such as 
he performs towards others on his behalf; that is, with direct respect 
unto his person and office. 

I. 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 be- 
cause 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 immediately, 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, perform all things 
requisite both for the forming, supporting, sanctifying, and preserv- 
ing of his own nature, without the especial assistance of the Holy 
Ghost ? nor is it easy to be understood how 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 vehe- 
mently 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 subsistence with 
himself. Herein the Father and the Spirit had no interest nor con- 
currence, E/ f/^ri xar iudoxiav xai (SouXrisiv, " but by approbation and 
consent," as Damascen speals: 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 3; Gal. iv. 4; Phil. ii. 6, 7; Heb. ii. 14, 16; which 
places, with many others to the same purpose, I have elsewhere ex- 
pounded, and vindicated from the exceptions of the Socinians. 

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 na- 
ture in the person of the Son. This was necessary and indissoluble, 
so that it was not impeached nor shaken in the least by the tem- 
porary dissolution of that nature by the separation of the soul and 
body: for the union of the soul and body in Christ did not consti- 


tiite 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. 

S. That aU other actings of God in the person of the Son towards 
the human nature were voluntary, and did not necessarily ensue on 
the union mentioned ; for there was no transfusion of the properties 
of one nature into the other, nor real physical communication of di- 
vine essential excellencies 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 con- 
tend 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 humaa 
nature complained of its desertion and dereliction by the divine, Matt.- 
xxviL 46 ; for this forsaking was not as to personal union, or necessary 
subsistence and supportment, but as to voluntary communications 
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, 
not 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^ speaks of himself with 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 divine pro- 
perties ; 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 immediate, 
peculiar, efficient cause of all external divine operations: for God 
worketh by his Spirit, or in him immediately applies the power and 

^ A>)Xov fiTT/v oVi xa) Triv rov vrtcuro; tiXov; ucav, a; ftlv Xoyoj yiveoirxti, us «£ avlfwros 
iyyotT. 'Av^fu-rav ykf i'3/ov to aytoilv, xai fidXirTit Tavra. ' AXXa xai thuto t»j (fiXay- 
6 ai'ff'itt.i 'thtov Tov ffUTrtpo;. 'Et£/S») yap yiyoyiv ccvSpwro;, ovk \-7rwx,^wra Oia, T»v accjixtt, tjik- 
dyvoouirat il^riTv, ohx oTSa. "Iva Ss/|>) art I't^ii; u; Seof, ayvou ffapxixus. — AtnanaS. Urat. IV. 
ad Arian. 

'Ayvou Toiyvv xara to (iy(rift,a, rtjs dv^pwriTnros, o yitunrxut tco irayra xara rmv ovvafii*- 
TTii Biornros. — ChrysoSt. torn. yii. serm. 117. 

nxhv Iffrict, on o'l TaXXe) tuv -raripuv, <r;^£S«v Se vravrif, (palvatrai Xiyavrts uvreo^ aymtiv^ 
E( yap Kara 'jea.inra Xiyirai rifiTu ofiocvirias, dytooZfiiv 3s xa) ri/itis, S?Xo» on xai avTOS tiy»»*t*- 
— Leontius Byzantinus, de Sectis. 

VOL. HI. ^1 


efficacy of the divine excellencies unto tlieir 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 im- 
mediate 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 observed that 
the immediate actings of the Holy Ghost are not spoken of him ab- 
solutely, 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, undivided 
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 in- 
sist 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 distinction 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 womb of the blessed Virgin was the peculiar 
and especial work of the Holy Ghost.' This work, I acknowledge, in 

» " Maximum in tot9, creatura testimonium de divinitate Spiritus Sancti corpus 
Domini est; quod ex Spiritu Sancto esse creditur secundum evangelistam, Matt, i., 
Eicut angolus ad Josephum dicit, Quod in ea natum est de Spiritu Sancto est."— Atha- 
nas. de Fid. Un. et Trin. 

" Creatrix virtus altissimi, superveniente Spiritu Sancto in virginem Mariam, Christi 
corpus fabricavit; quo ille usus temple sine viri natus est semine."— Didjm. de Spir. 
Sauc. lib. ii. 

cnAP. itl] unto the head of the new creation. 163 

respect of designation, and the authoritative disposal of things, is 
ascribed unto the Father; for so the Lord Christ speak eth unto him: 
" A body hast thou prepared me," Heb. x. 5. 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 assumption, it is ascribed to the 
Son himself: chap. ii. l-i, " Forasmuch as the children are partakers 
of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same ;" he 
took upon him a body and soul, entire human nature, as the chil- 
dren, or all believers, have the same, synecdochically expressed by 
" flesh and blood." Verse 16, " He took on him the seed of Abraham." 
But the immediate divine efficiency in this matter was the peculiar 
work of the Holy Ghost: Matt. i. 18, " When as his mother Mary 
was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found 
with child of the Holy Ghost." Verse 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 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 Highest" is neither explica- 
tory of the former expression, " The Holy Ghost," as though he were 
only the power of the Most High, nor is it the adjoining of a dis- 
tinct 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, concerning which 
the blessed Virgin had made that inquiry, verse 34, " How shall this 
be, seeing I know not a man?" is expressed. "The Holy Ghost," saith 
the angel " acting the power of the Most High," or in the infinite 
power of God, " shall accomplish 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 that 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 miraculous;" for he is said to come, with re- 
spect unto his beginning of any marvellous operation, where before 
he did not work to the hke purpose. 3. The act of the Holy Ghost 
in this matter was a creating act; not, indeed, like the first creating 
act, which produced the matter and substance of all things out of 
nothing, causing that to be which was not before, neither in matter, 
nor form, nor passive disposition; but like those subsequent acts of 


creation, whereby, out of matter 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 al- 
though 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 accomplish- 
ment 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 bruise the serpent'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 S ; and to take upon him "the seed of Abraham," Heb. iL 1 6. (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 purpose nor 
true if he were not made of the substance or flesh of the blessed 
Yirgin. (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 depend hereon, Heb. ii. 14; for if he had not 
been made like us in all things, sin only excepted, if he had not 
been partaker of our nature, there had been no foundation for the 
imputing that unto us which he did, suffered, and wrought, Rom. 
viii. 3, 4. 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 
ensue: — 

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 generation, 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 ; 
rnuch 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, inefifable 
generation, communicating being and subsistence unto him, as the 
fountain and original of the Trinity. Filiation, therefore, is a per- 
sonal adjunct, and belongs unto Christ as he was a divine person, 
and not with respect unto his human nature. But that nature being 
assumed, whole Christ was the Son of God. 

2. That this act of the Holy Ghost, in forming 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 instant 
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 formmg the body of our Lord Jesus Christ 
in the womb, doth not denominate him to be his father, no, not ac- 
cording 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 incar- 
nate. He made the human nature of Christ, body and soul, with, 
in, and unto a subsistence in the second person of the Trinity, not 
[in] his own. 

3. It hence also follows that the conception of Christ in the womb, 
being the effect of a creating act, was not accomplished successively 
^nd in process of time, but was perfected in an instant;^ for although 
the creating acts of infinite power, where the works effected have dis- 
tinct 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 instantaneoijsly 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 antece- 
dently unto its union with the Son of God: for in the very instant 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 created in the same instant. 

' E" Ti; Xiyii Tfurov vriTXairSai <ro trafta roZ xvpiou ri/^uv Itxrou Xfitrrov (V rn fttirpa rri$ 
tylas 'TrafSivov, K.ai lard raura itia)^r,vai auTu riv Oiov Xiyot, xai rh* ^v^ny ui ^fov- 
va.>l,a.cfa,v, d,\a.hfia Ihtu. — Concil. Constantinop. ad Origenistas, 


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 inquiries 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 pur- 
posely to be hid from us in that expression, Au'i/a/i/g 'T-^/oroo z'^tsxidau 
<fo/, — ** 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 eter- 
nity. 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 ^^CTI^, as it were " hovering" and 
*' moving" over it for the formation and production of all things liv- 
ing; 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 

conception of Christ is assigned unto the Holy Ghost and to the 

blessed Virgin; for of her it is said expressly in prophecy, ^"^J} "^^^i^O, 

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 

Khe is termed by the ancients ©foro'xoj and Dei genetrix; which last, 

at least, I wish had been forborne. Compare it with the Scripture, 

and there will appear an unwarrantable x.am(pu !a in it. So Luke 

i .31. The words of the angel to her are, "SuXXyj-^rj iv yaerpi, xa! rl^jj 

w/o'v, — "Thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son;" 

where her conception of him is distinguished from her bringing of 

him forth. And yet in the ancient 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 Ghost," 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 produced 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 espousals unto Joseph, and 

that for sundry reasons; for, — 1. Under the covering of her marriage 

to him slie 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, 3. Hereby, also, was our blessed Saviour 


freed from the imputation of an illegitimate birth, until by his own 
miraculous operations he should give testimony unto his miraculous 
conception; concerning which before his mother could not have been 
believed. 4. That he might have one on whose account his gene- 
alogy might be recorded, to manifest the accomplishment of the pro- 
mise 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, natural line of his descent, by 
the progenitors of the blessed Virgin, yet he nameth her not; only 
mentioning her espousals, 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 imme- 
diate 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 vanity and lightness; a third, to sensuality and 
fleshly pleasures ; and so others to sloth and idleness. And although 
this disposition, 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, secondly, also, although he took on him those infirmities 
which belong unto our human nature as such, and are inseparable 
from it until it be glorified, yet he took none of our particular in- 
firmities which cleave unto our persons, occasioned either by the vice 
of our constitutions 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, weariness, 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 dis- 
tempers, which personally adhere unto us, upon the disorder and 
vice of our constitutions, he was absolutely free from [them]. 




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 in Christ, how carried on by the Spirit 
— Exercise of grace in Christ by the rational faculties of his soul — Their im- 
provement — 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. 12 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 mis- 
takes 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 according to the 
measure of its receptivity. Being not begotten by natural genera- 
tion, it derived no taint of origmal 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 ac- 
count he was obnoxious to no charge of sin, original or actual. His 
nature, therefore, as miraculously created in the manner described, 
was absolutely innocent, spotless, and free from sin, as was Adam in 
the day wherein he was created. But this was not all ; it was by 
the Holy Spirit positively endowed with all grace. And hereof it 
was afterward only capable of farther degrees as to actual exercise, 
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 immediately created of God,— yet there is not enough to 
enable any rational creature to live to God; much less was it all that 
was m Jesus Christ. There is, moreover, required hereunto super- 


natural endowments of grace, superadded unto the natural faculties 
of our souls. If we live unto God, there must be a principle of spi- 
ritual life in us, as well [as] of life natural. This was the image of 
God in Adam, and was wrought in Christ by the Holy Spirit: Isa. 
xi. 1-3, " 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 iu and upon the Lord Christ, in the execution 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 
these 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 com- 
municated unto him, do plainly regard his incarnation; and the soul 
of Christ, from the first moment of its infusion, was a subject cap- 
able 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 re- 
ceived by this first unction of the Spirit. Hence, from his concep- 
tion, 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 commen- 
tary on Heb. i. 1 ; see also John i. 14-17. 

Thirdly, The Spirit carried on that work whose foundation he 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 understand- 
ing, 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 improvement 
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, en- 
largement, 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 re- 
fers to his body, which grew and increased after the manner of other 
men; as verse 52, he "increased in stature." The other respects the 


confirmation of the faculties of his mind, — he " waxed strong in spirit." 
So, verse 52, he is said to " increase in wisdom and stature."^ He 
was vXr}pov,aivoi ffo<plag, continually "filling and filled" with new de- 
grees " of wisdom," as to its exercise, according as the rational facul- 
ties of his mind were capable thereof; an increase in these things 
accompanied his years, verse 52. And what is here recorded by the 
evangelist contains a description of the accomplishment of the pro- 
phecy 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. 

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 na- 
ture as such, as it is to be weary or hungry, and no vice or blaraable 
defect. Some have made a great outcry about the ascribing of igno- 
rance by some protestant divines unto the human soul of Christ: Bel- 
larm. de Anim. Christi. Take " ignorance " for that which is a moral 
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 incon- 
sistent 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, [Mark xiii. 32]; 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 occasions, 
he giive out of his unsearchable treasures grace for exercise in all 
duties and instances of it. From hence was he habitually holy, and 

" " Quomodo proficiebat sapientia Dei ? doceat te ordo verborum. Profectus est atatis, 
profectus est sapientiaj, sed humanaa. Ideo astatem ante preemisit, ut secundum ho- 
mines credercs dictum; setas enim non divinitatis sed corporis est. Ergo si proficie- 
bat ajtate lioininis proficiebat sapientia hominis. Sapientia autem sensu proficit, quia 
a sensu sapientia."— Ambros. de Incarnat. Dom. Mysterio, chap. vii. 

" Nam et Dominus homo accepit communicationem Spiritus Sancti ; sicut in evangeliis 
legitur, 'Jesus ergo rcpletus Spiritu Sancto, regressus est a lordane." Hsec autem 
absque uUa calumniS, de dominico homine, qui totus Christus, unus est Jesus Filius 
Dei, sensu dehomns pietatis accipere. non quod alter et alter sit, sed quod de uno atque 
eodem quasi de altero, secundum naturam Dei, et hominis disputatur."— Didym de Spir 
Sane. lib. iiL "^ *^ 


from hence did tie exercise holiness entirely and universally in all 

Fourthly, The Holy Spirit, in a peculiar manner, anointed hiin 
with all those extraordinary powers and gifts which were necessar)- 
for the exercise and discharging of his office on the earth :^ Isa. Ixi, 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 cap- 
tives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." It 
is the prophetical office of Christ, and his discharge thereof in his 
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, 1 9 ; for this was that office which he principally attended 
unto here in 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 it but sparingly. Thereunto, 
indeed, belonged his sending forth of apostles and evangelists to 
preach with authority. And towards the end of his ministry he in- 
stituted 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 sacerdotal office 
but only at his death, when he " gave himself for us an offering and 
a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour," Eph. v. 2 ; wherein 
God " smelled 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 
according 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, verse 19; Acts iii. 23; Heb. ii. 3; John viii. 24 
Hereunto was he fitted by this unction of the Spirit. And here, also, 
is a distinction between 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. 2, 3, " The Spirit rested 
upon him as a Spirit of wisdom," to make him " of quick understand- 
ing 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, Ps. xlv. 7; Heb. i. 8, 9; although I ac- 
knowledge 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 extraordinary gifts for 

' EJ <ri>lvti» h ira.f^ h ^tff«i>rixri, to xuftaxov TXafffia, i %iv»s avifuven;, e evpatio;, re »ia» 
PiXa.(r-n//.a, to avo Tns ^i»>ll aihivos avStiirat, oZtos KafiSdm ri Wltjfia ayiov, CtC. — LlUySOSt. 

Homil. de Spir. Sane. 


the discharge of his prophetical office was at his baptism, Matt, iil 17. 
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, exercise, and improvement. And that they were then col- 
lated 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 lighted 
upon him: and lo a voice came from heaven, saying, This is my be- 
loved 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, chap. i. 33. 

2. He now entered on his public ministry, and wholly gave him- 
self up unto his work; for before, he did only occasionally 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 asto- 
nishment 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 
couise of a private life, yet the fulness of gifts for his work he re- 
ceived 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," 
vXripcvfLtvog aopiag, chap. ii. 40, "continually filling;" but now he is 
-jrXyiprig Uviv/xaTog * Ay/ou, " 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 [baptist?] use that expression, Ov yap Ik fisTpou dldum d 0£os 
t4 UyiZ/xa, John iii. 34,— "For God giveth not the Spirit l)y measure." 
That it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is here intended, unto whom 
the Spirit is thus given, is evident from the context, althougli it be 
not express [ed] in the text. He is spoken of, and is the subject of the 
whole discourse: Verse 31, "He that cometh from above is above all: 
he that cometh from heaven is above all." None doubts but that 
this is a descrii)tion 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 
twenty times in this Gospel. Of him this account is given, that he 
*' testifieth what he hath seen and heard," verse 32; and that he 
*" speaketh the words of God," verse 34. Dififerent events are also 


marked upon his testimony, for many refused it, verse 32, but some 
received it, who therein " set to their seal that God is true," verse 33 ; 
for he that " beUeveth not the record that he gave of his Son hath 
made him a har," 1 John v. 10. As a reason of all this, it is added 
that " God gave not the Spirit by measure unto him ;" 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," verse 36. Vain, 
therefore, is the attempt of Crellius, de Spir. Sane, followed by 
Schlichtingius in his comment on this place, who would exclude the 
Lord Christ from being intended 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 itself: for God's not giving the 
Spirit sx fi'srpou, " by measure," is his giving of him d/xsrpug, " immea- 
surably," 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 
according to the measure of the gift of Christ," Eph. 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, 
Avhen " it pleased him that in him should all fulness dwell," that 
"in all things he might have the pre-eminence," Col. i. 18, 19. 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, — 
Blduai, " he giveth:" " For Christ," they say, "had before received the 
Spirit, for this is spoken of him after his baptism. If, therefore, he 
had 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 ful- 
ness 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 himself, 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; 


jis 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 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 Na- 
zareth, a man approved of God by miracles 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 xi. 20, — that is, 
by the infinite divine power of God. But the power of God acted in 
an especial manner by the Holy Spirit, as is expressly declared 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 therein they blasphemed the Holy Spirit, whose 
works indeed they were, verses 31, 32. Hence these mighty works 
are called Swd/xug, " 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 exercise 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, supported, iu 
the whole course of his ministry, temptations, obedience, and suffer- 
ings. 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 wilderness," Luke iv. 1. 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 solemuly 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 these 
words, To rrvev/ia, avrov UZdXXu sig rfiv ifrifiov, chap. L 12, " The spirit 
driveth him into the wilderness." It is evident that the same spirit 
and the same aet are intended in all the evangelists, here, and Matt. 
iv. 1, Luke iv. 1. But how the Holy Spirit should be said IxUXKuv, 
to " drive^him," is not so easy to be apprehended. But the word in 
Luke is ijytTo, which denotes a guiding and rational conduct; and 
this cannot be ascribed unto any other spirit, with respect unto our 
Lord Jesus, but only the Spirit of God. Matthew expresseth the 
same effect by avri^Sv, chap. iv. 1,— he was "carried," or "carried up," 
or " taken away," from the midst of the people. And this was Wi 
rou UnviJ-aroi, " of that Spirit,"— namely, which descended on him 
and rested on him immediately before, chap, iil 16. And the con- 


tinnation of the discourse in Luke will not admit that any other 
spirit be intended: "And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit re- 
turned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness," 
— namely, by that Spirit which he was full of. By skZuXXu, there- 
fore, 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 gospel : Matt. ix. 38, " Pray ye there- 
fore the Lord of the harvest," o-rwg ixQdXXri ipydrag ilg rhv ^ipi0fjt,ov 
auTou, "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 also Luke 
X. 2. So did he enter upon his preparation unto his work under his 
conduct; and it were well if others would endeavour after a con- 
formity unto him within the rules of their calling. 2. By his 
assistance was he carried triumphantly 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. 
8. The temptation being finished, he returned again out of the wil- 
derness, to preach the gospel " in the power of the Spirit," Luke 
iv. 14, He returned h rfj 8wvdfiii rou nviv,u,aTog, " in the power of the 
Spirit" into Galilee, — that is, powerfully enabled by the Holy Spirit 
unto the discharge of his work; and hence, in his first sermon at 
Nazareth, he took these 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," verse 18, The issue was, that they " all bare 
him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded 
out of his mouth," verse 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, strengthened, and comforted, in his whole 
course, — in all his temptations, troubles, and sufferings, from first to 
last; for we know that there was a confluence of all these 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. xlii. 4, 6, xlix. 5-8, L 7, 8. Now, all the voluntary communica- 
tions of the divine nature unto the human were, as we have showed, 
by the Holy Spirit 


Seventhly, He offered himself up unto God through the eternal 
Spirit, Ileb. 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 himself; 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 
acceptation of them: for the apostle doth show 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 consciences 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 himself; 
for by reason of the indissoluble union of both his natures, his person 
became the principle of all his mediatory acts, and from thence had 
they their dignity and efficacy. 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 sacri- 
fice unto God, as the great high priest of the church, to make atone- 
ment 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 en- 
suing instances: — 

1. He sanctified, consecrated, or dedicated himself unto God for 
to be an offering or sacrifice: John xvii. 19, " For then- 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 himself unto his office of a priest; for this was the act 
of him who called him: " He glorified not himself to be made an 
high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son," Heb. v. 5. 
He made him a priest by his death, " after the power of an endless 
life," chap. vii. 16, 20, 21. Wherefore, he consecrated 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 conse- 
crated himself that we might be sanctified. Now. " we are sancti- 


fied through the offering of the body of Jesus 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, according to the law : for there he did not 
only give up himself 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 slrong 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 accompanied 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 offer- 
ing 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 incon- 
ceivable exercise of This, therefore, is frequently 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 from our sins 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. xx'ix. 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," Heb. xii. 2. 
And this was one grace of the eternal Spirit whereby he offered him- 
self unto God. 

(2.) That which principally acted him in the whole was his un- 
VOL. III. 12 


spealcahle zeal for, and ardency of affection unto, the glory of God. 
These were the coals which with a vehement flame, as it were, con- 
sumed the sacrifice. And there were two things that he aimed at 
with respect unto the glory of God: — [1.] The manifestation of his 
righteousness, holiness, and severity against sin. His design was, to 
repair the glory of God, wherein it had seemed to suffer by sin. Ps. 
xl. 6-8, Heb. x. 5-7, He came to do that, with full desire of soul, 
(expressed in these 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 manner of it, with inexpressible ardency of 
zeal and affections: Ps. xl. 8, " I delight to do thy will, 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 suffering, he expresseth 
the highest engagement of heart and affections unto it: Luke xxii. 15, 
" With desire I have desired 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 with, and how am I strait- 
ened," or pained, " till it be accomplished ! " chap. xii. 50. His zeal to 
advance the glory of God, in the manifestation of his righteousness 
and holiness, by the offering up of 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, 
iil 24-26. This zeal and affection unto the glory of God's righteous- 
ness, 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 of 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 influence into the efficacy and merit of his 
sacrifice: Phil. ii. 8, "He humbled himself, and became obedient unto 
death, even 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 which he suffered," Heb. v. 7, 8; that is, he experienced 
obedience in suff-ering. It is true that the Lord Christ, in the whole 
course of his life, yielded obedience 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 therefore doth 
God so express his satisfaction therein and acceptance 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 he offered 
himself unto God. 

(-t.) 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 re- 
presents as an especial work of his, testified unto in the Old Testa- 
ment: Heb. ii 13, "I will put my trust in him." And, [1.] This 
respected himself, namely, that he should be supported, assisted, and 
carried through the work he had undertaken unto a blessed issue. 
Hereiu, I confess, he was horribly assaulted, until he cried out, " My 
God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Ps. 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 
liis trials, verses 9-1 1 ; and made such an open profession of it 
that his enemies, when they supposed him lost and defeated, re- 
proached him with it, verse 8 ; Matt, xxvii. 4.3. 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 accomplishment 
of all the promises that were made unto him upon his engagement 
into the work of mediation, were victorious. [2.] This 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 volun- 
tarily and freely offered up himself 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.) Tliese were the things whicli rendered his offering of himself 
a " sacrifice to God of a sweet-smelling savour," Eph. v. 2. God 
was so absolutely delighted and pleased with these high and glori- 
ous acts of grace and obedience in Jesus Christ that he smelled, 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 obedience of Christ 
than he was displeased with the sin and disobedience of Adam, Rom. 
V. 1 7-21. It was not, then, [by] 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 manner, 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 himself 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 pre- 
ceding 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 commends that in an especial manner into the hands of God 
his Father,— Ps. 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 preserve and protect him 
even in death, and to show him again the " way and path of life," 
Ps.^xvi. 11. Notwithstanding, then, the union of his person, his soul 
in its separate state was in an especial manner under the care, pro- 
tection, and power of the Father, preserved in his love until the 
hour came wherein he showed 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 gi-eat promise, that " his soul 
should not be left in hell, nor the Holy One see corruption," Ps. 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 corruption, Acts ii. 29. This 
pure and holy substance was preserved in its integrity by the over- 
shadowing 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 re- 
surrection, 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 satis- 
faction of God therein, and his acceptation of the person of the Re- 
deemer. It is, on various accounts, assigned distinctly to each per- 
son 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 de- 
clared. Unto the Father it is ascribed, on the account of his autho- 
rity, 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," — Xuaag 
Tag ujh7mi rou ^amrou. These are the A}9"''??0j which, with a little 
alteration of one vowel,^ signify the " sorrows of death," or the " cords 
of death;" for ni^'-^^fC are the " sorrows of death," and A}?'\^^n are 
the " cords of death." See Ps. xviii. 4, cxvi. 3. And the " sorrows 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 ud/vsg, " tormenting pains," ended in his death 
itself But the consequents of them are here reckoned unto them, 
or the continuance under 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 Fa- 
ther, as the supreme rector and judge of all. Hence he is said to 

' Our author must allude to a difference in the vowel-points; Vati, as in Isa. Ixvi. 7, 
eignifying ;?ajHs, andValj, with the seghol instead of the tsere, being translated cord or 
rope. The word occurs also in composition with S, under the meaning of " cords," op 
*• fetters," as iu Job xxxvi. 8, '■iy-''-z'nz . — Ed. 


" raise him from the dead," as the judge hy his order delivereth an 
acquitted prisoner or. one who hath answered the law. The same 
work he also takes unto himself: John x. 17, IS, "I lay down my 
life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay 
it down of myself 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. 1 5, yet because they had neither authority nor ability so to do 
without his own consent, he saith no man did, or could, 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 nature, his living again being an act of his person, al- 
though 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 by the Spirit;" ^uovoiridslg di roD Uvivfiari, — 
" 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, verses 19, 20; or that Spirit of Christ which was in the 
prophets from the foundation of the world, chap. i. 11; 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. 8 ;— that is, the Holy Spirit of God. To 
the same purpose we are instructed by our apostle: Rom. viii. 11, 
" 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 that dwelleth in you;"— "God shall 
quicken our mortal bodies also by the same Spirit whereby he raised 
Christ from the dead;" for so the relation 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, verse 17. 
The effects thereof in them and upon them are described, verse 18. 
And this he desires that they may so be made partakers of as that, 
by the work of the Spirit of God in themselves, renewing and quick- 
ening them, they might have an experience of that exceeding great- 
ness 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, 
Pvom. i. 4. He was positively declared to be the Son of God by his 


resurrection from the dead, h duvd/xn, xard UvsZ/ia ayiueCvrig, — 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 
passion 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 [of 
Christ], and made it every way meet for its eternal residence at tlie 
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 glorified by the effectual operation of the same Spirit, the 
exemplar and pattern of that glory which in our mortal bodies we 
shall receive by the same Spirit; for "when he shall appear, 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 even to subdue all things unto him- 
self," Phil. iii. 21. 

And these are some of the principal instances of the operation 
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 power- 
ful and effectual operation of that Spirit which thus wrought all 
things in him, to the glory of God. And as it is ^ matter of unspeak- 
able consolation 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 endeavours 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 objects of our admiration and 

II. There is yet another work of the Holy Spirit, not immedi- 
ately in and upon the person of the Lord Christ, but toiuards 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, 


aud tli.at the work whicli 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 consum- 
mation of all things. It is known how the Lord Christ was reproached 
Avhilst he was in this world, and how ignominiously he was sent out of 
it by death. Hereon a great contest ensued amongst mankind, where- 
in 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 apostles to bear testi- 
mony unto the holiness of his life, the truth and purity of his doc- 
trine, 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, aud their calumnies refelled. But 
what could the testimony of twelve poor men, though never so honest, 
prevail against the confronting suffrage of the world? Wherefore, 
this work of bearing witness 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, "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, "We are his witnesses of these things; and so also is 
the Holy Ghost, 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 own 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 effectual 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 instru- 
ments throughout the world, but also subdued the generality of man- 
kind unto faith in him and obedience unto him, 2 Cor. x. 4, 5. And 
upon this testimony it is that there is real faith in him yet main- 
tained in the world. This is that which he promised unto his dis- 
ciples 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 riohte- 
ousness, 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 judgment, because the prince of this world is judged," John xvi. 
7-11. The reason why the world believed not on Christ was, })ecause 
they believed not that he was sent of God, chap. ix. 29. By his testi- 
mony 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 deter- 
mined by his being sent or not sent of God; and, consequently, God's 
acceptance or disapprobation of him. That he was so sent, so ap- 
proved, the Holy Spirit convinced the world by his testimony, mani- 
festing 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. 83. Moreover, 
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 reversed, 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 dark- 
ness of the minds of men within and idolatry without, he had ob- 
tained 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 declared. 

And by these considerations may we be led into that knowledge 
of and acquaintance with our Lord Jesus Christ, which is so neces- 
sary, so useful, and so much recommended unto us in the Scripture. 
And the utter neglect of learning 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 tliey are 
forbidden by God himself to be used unto any such purposes, and 
therefore cursed with barrenness and uselessness, as to any end of 
faith or holiness, they are in themselves suited only to jngenerate 
low and carnal thoughts in depraved superstitious minds; for as 
the worshippers of such images know not what is the proper cause 
nor the proper object of that reverence and those affections they 
.find in themselves, when they approach unto them and, adore be- 


fore 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 na- 
ture, as united unto the person of the Son of God, and engaged in 
the discharge 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 tlie glass of the gospel, which we beholding by faith, are changed 
into the same ima^e 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 there- 
withal, " If," saith he, " they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the 
desert, go not forth : behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it 
not," Matt. xxiv. 26. It is not a wilderness, low, persecuted, inglo- 
rious, and invisible condition, as to outward profession, that our 
Saviour here intendeth: 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, some- 
times 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 h rfl sprj/xu, " 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 themselves into deserts and solitary places; for there they 
pretended great intercourse with Christ, great visions and appear- 
ances of him, being variously deluded and imposed on by Satan and 
their own imaginations. It is ridiculous on the one hand, and de- 
plorable on the other, to consider the woful follies, delusions, and 
superstitions this sort of men fell into ; yet was in those days no- 
thing more common than to say that Christ was in the desert, con- 
versing with the monks and anchorites. " Go not forth imto them," 
saith our Lord Christ; "for in so doing ye will be deceived." And 
again saith he, " If they say unto you, He is h 7o7g raiMuoig, in the 
secret chambers, believe it not." There is, or I am much deceived, 
a deep and mysterious instruction in these words. Ta/A£/a signifies 
those secret places in a house where bread and wine and cates^ of all 
* Gates, viands. — Ed. 


sorts are laid up and stored. This is the proper signification and use 
of the word. What pretence, 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 transubstantiation that is in- 
tended. Christ must be in the secret places where their wafer and 
wine were deposited, — that is, h roTc ra/xsioig. 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 repository ; 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 hurt- 
ful snares and perdition. The consideration that we have insisted 
on will guide us, if attended to, unto a spiritual and saving know- 
ledge of him. And we are to learn thus to know him, — 

First, That we may love him with a 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 excellencies is effectual to stir 
up and draw forth our love towards him. So the spouse in the 
Canticles, rendering a reason of her intense affections towards him, 
says that "he is white and ruddy, the chiefest of ten thousand;" 
that is, perfect in the beauty of the graces of the Holy Spirit, which 
rendered him exceeding amiable. So also Ps. xlv. 2. W^ould 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 ap- 
prehension 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 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 principal duty in this world; but this you cannot do 
without a distinct notion and knowledge of him. There are, there- 


fore, tlireo tilings in general that you are to consider to this pur- 
pose; — 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, there- 
fore, is to have a specialty 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 absolutely. 3. 
That perfection ojidi fulness of grace which dwelt in his human nature, 
as communicated unto him by the Holy Spirit, whereof we have 
treated. If we 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 ot 
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 therefore worthy of our most diligent inquiry into. 

And so have we given a brief delineation of the dispensation and 
work of the Holy Spirit in and towards the person of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, the head of the church. His preparation 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 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 
J 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. 19,20; Acts i. 9,10,iii. 21; Matt, xviii. 19,20; 2 Cor. vi. 16; I Cor. 
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 Holv 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 opera- 
tions— How he may be resisted, how not— How the saiuj work is ascribed 
unto the Spirit distinctly, and to others with him— The general heads of his 
operations towards the church. 

We liave considered the work of the Spirit of God in his laying 
the foundation of the church of the New Testament, by his dispensa- 


tions towards the head of it, our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the foun- 
dation-stone of this building, with seven eyes engraven on him, or 
filled with an absolute perfection of all the gifts and graces of the 
Spirit, Zech. iii. 9, which when he is exalted also as "the head- 
stone of the corner," there are shoutings in heaven and earth, crying, 
"Grace, grace unto him!" chap. iv. 7. As upon the laying of the 
foundation and placing of the corner-stone 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 foun- 
dation, and placing of this comer-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 con- 
sideration, — 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 pre- 
pared, 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 
particular 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 peculiar 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 mani- 
festation of his own glory. And in the old or first creation, he seems 
principally, or firstly, to intend the demonstration and exaltation of 
the glorious essential properties of his nature, his goodness, power, 
wisdom, and the like, as Ps. xix. 1-4, Kom. i. 19-21, Acts xiv. 
15-17, xvii. 24-28; leaving only on the works of his hands some 
obscure impressions of the distinction 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 in- 
tends the especial revelation of each person of the whole Trinity 


distinctly, in their peculiar distinct operations; all which tend ulti- 
mately 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 illus- 
triously brought to light by the gospel. Hence, although there 
appear a vigorous acting of faith and ardency of affection in the 
approaches of the saints unto God under the Old Testament, yet as 
unto a clear access to the Father through the Son by the Spirit, 
as Eph. ii. 18, wherein the life and comfort of our communion with 
God do consist, we hear nothing of it. Herein, therefore, God 
plainly declares that the foundation of the whole was laid in the 
counsel, will, and grace of the Father, chap. i. S-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 
no 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 media- 
tion 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. 
Tliis 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 Ghost," Matt, xxviii. 19. 
And these things have been discoursed of before, though necessarily 
here called over again. 

Secondly, From the 7iature and order of this work of God it is, 
that after the Son was actually exhibited in the flesh, according to 
the promise, and had fulfilled what he had taken upon him to do in 
his own person, the great promise of carrying on and finishing the 
whole work of the grace of God in our salvation concerns the send- 
ing of the Holy Spirit to do and perform what he also had under- 
taken.^ Thus, when our Lord Jesus Christ was ascended into heaven, 
and began conspicuously and gloriously to carry on the building of 
IjIs church upon himself, the rock and foundation of it, it is said, 
that, " being by the right hand of God exalted, he received of the 

Kcu fid-yirra. yi to a-rr\itvtn roSf iya-rXatrfivras red ayiair/zov, xa) hafiini* \y rj) 
avKTXdini, t5; row Tavccy'iai, vnifi-arif \tr<Ti hficufyMi t« Kai <ruvovSf.— JobiuS apui 

1 iailium. lib. cxxii. 


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 promise of sending him unto them, which 
he often repeated and inculcated on their minds, John xiv. 15-17. 
And, 2. When he was actually leaving them, after his resurrec- 
tion, 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 commanded them that 
they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of 
the Father;" and verse 8, "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy 
Ghost 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 
I)art of the earth." He would have them look neither for assistance 
in their work, nor success unto it, but from the promised Spirit 
alone ; and lets them know, also, that by his aid they should be en- 
abled 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 efficacy. The 
kingdom of Christ is spiritual, and, in the animating 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 
communication of that Spirit, the everlasting promise whereof he 
received of the Father, that gives being, life, usefulness, and success, 
to the ministry. Wherefore, also, 3. Upon his ascension, in the 
accomplishment of the great promises given unto the church under the 
Old Testament, Isa. xliv. 3, Joel ii. 28, 29, as also of his own, newly 
given unto his disciples, he pourecTforth his Spirit on them. This 
the apostle Peter declares 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 re- 
ceive 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 colla- 
tion of the thing promised, and is thence said to receive the promise. 
So Heb. xi. 1 3, 39, it is said of all believers under the Old Testa- 
ment, that they " died in faith, not having received the promise;'* 
that is, the thing promised was not actually exhibited in their days^ 


though thoy had the promise of it, as it is expressly said of Abra- 
liani, 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 great 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 effectual unto their souls the whole work of his medi- 
ation: wherefore, 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, Ps. Ixviii. 18, "Thou hast ascended on high, thou 
hast led captivity captive; thou hast received 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 defective in all qualifications and abilities 
that might contribiite any thing thereunto. But whatever is want- 
ing 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 by sending the 
Holy Spirit unto them ; on whose presence and assistance alone de- 
pended the whole success of their ministry in the world. It was 
" through the Holy Ghost that he gave commandments unto them," 
Acts i. 2. Those commandments concern the whole work in preach- 
ing the gospel and founding 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 for- 
bids them to attempt any thing, verses 4, 8. In this promise, 
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 accomplishment, and there will be an abso- 
lute 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 re- 
ligious worship they think good ; let them do it either by an attend- 
ance according unto the best of their understandings unto the letter ■ 
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 dis- 
claimed by them, if there be not in them and upon them such a work 
of his as he is promised [for] 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 him who represents his person, and dis- 
chargeth his promised work : Operam navat Ghristo vicariam. When 
our Lord Jesus was leaving the world, he gave his disciples command 
to "preach the gospel," Mark xvi. 15, and to " disciple all nations" 
into the faith and profession thereof. Matt, xxviii. 19. For their en- 
couragement 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, " I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world," or 
the consummation of all things, verse 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 stead- 
fastly toward 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, wliich was the sole encouragement he gave 
them unto their great undertaking? It may be that after this his 
triumphant ascension into heaven, to take possession of his kingdom 
and glory, he came again unto them, and made his abode with them. 
"No," saith Peter; "the heaven must receive him until the times of 
restitution of all things," Acts iii. 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 
VOL. II J 13 


sending of the Holy Spirit. In and by him he is" present with his 
disciples in their ministry and their assemblies. And whenever Christ 
leaves the world, the church must do so too ; for it is his presence 
alone which puts men into that condition, 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. 1 2. Their being the " people of God," so as there- 
withal to be " the temple of the living God," — that is, to be brought 
into a sacred church-state for his worship, — depends on his " dwelling 
in th^m and walking in them." And this he doth by his Spirit alone; 
for, " Know ye not that ye 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 supplies the bodily absence of Christ, that 
on his presence the being of the church, the success of the ministry, 
and the edification of the whole, do absolutely depend. And this, if 
any thing in the whole gospel, deserves our serious consideration ; 
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 incumbent on us to inquire dili- 
gently 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 
these ends with any but by his Spirit. And this they will one day 
find whose profession is made up of such a sottish contradiction as 
to avow an honour for Jesus Christ, and yet blaspheme his Spirit in 
all his holy operations. 2. The Lord Christ havmg expressly pro- 
mised 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 ministers and ordinances; but how, then, is he present 
with those ministers themselves, unto whom the promise of his pre- 
sence 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 omnipresence, or ubiquity of his human nature, 
]jy virtue of its personal union; but this is "destructive of that na- 


ture itself, which being made to be everywhere, as such a nature, is 
truly nowhere ; and the most learned among them are ashamed of 
this imagination. The words of Schmidt on Eph. iv. 10, "ivot, -rkripugn 
TO, '^rdvra, are worthy of consideration: — "Per rd crdi/ra, aliqui intelli- 
gunt totum mundum, seu totum universum hoc, exponuntque ut omni- 
pra3sentia sua omnibus in mundo locis adesset, loca omnia implendo: 
et hi verbum 'rMpuari de physica et crassa impletione accipiunt; 
quam tamen talis irXfipuatg seu impletio locorum in mundo omnium 
quae vel expansionem corpoream in quantitate continua, vel multi- 
plication em, imo infinitam multitudinem unius ejusdemque corporis 
in discreta prsesupponit, et ex humana speculatione orta est, falsoque 
nostris ecclesiis affingitur" (wherein yet he confesseththat it is taught) ; 
"ne cogitanda quidem sit pio homini ; sed potius omniprsesentia Christi 
hominis — uti promissa est, modo nobis ineffabili credi, et multo cer- 
tius 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 and effecteth 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 Avhose 
name he performed it, so the w^ork of the Holy Spirit is not his own 
work, but rather 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 
shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall 
glorify me : for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 
All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he 
shall take of mine, and shall show 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 alid 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 piomise, 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 ap- 
prehension, he lets them know that the work he had to do was only 
to carry on and build on the foundation which was laid in his per- 
son 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, "He shall not speak of himself;" — " He shall reveal no 
other truth, communicate 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 con- 
sonant 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 pro- 
per signification, 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 coun- 
sels. So the outward act of hearing 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 ap- 
plied 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 Father, and 
unto him it is everywhere peculiarly ascribed; therefore is the par- 
ticipation of the Spirit therein as a distinct person called his hear- 
ing. Hereunto, 8. 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 receive of mine, and shall show it unto you." 
The communication of sphitual things from Christ by the Spirit is 
here called "/tts receiving" of them; as the communication of the 
Spirit from the Father by the Lord Christ to his disciples is called 
" his receiving of the promise." The Spirit cannot receive any thing 
subjectively which he had not, as an addition unto him; it is there- 
fore the economy of these things that is here intended. He is not 


said to receive tliem, 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 pecuharly 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 
Spirit ; for so it is added, " And shall show them unto you ;" — " He 
shall make them known unto you; so declare them, and manifestly 
evidence them to you and in you, that ye shall understand and 
have experience of them in yourselves; show them by revelation, 
instructing you in them, by communication imparting them to you." 
And what are those things that he shall so declare? They are 
ra i/;t,a, " 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 shows by revelation, the latter by effectual communica- 
tion. His truth he showed unto them by revelation, as we have de- 
clared him to be the immediate author of all divine revelations. 
This he did unto the apostles by his inspirations, enabling them in- 
fallibly 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 showed 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 show the truth 
and grace of Christ unto all believers, though not in the same man- 
ner as unto the former, nor unto the same degree as unto the latter: 
for he shows 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 un- 
dei-stand the mind of God therein; and of his grace he imparts 
unto us in our sanctification, 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. 5. And the reason of the asser- 
tion 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 show 
it unto you." Two things may be observed in these words : — 

(1.) The extent of the things of Christ, which are to be showed 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 Father, 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 ia him- 
self, so hath he 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 
Godhead. [2.] 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 purposed in himself from eternity, and whatever his 
infinite power and goodness would produce in the pursuit thereof, 
were 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 apprehended, 
we must consider a tivofold operation of God as three in one. The 
first hereof is absolute in all divine works whatever; the other re- 
spects the economy of the operations of God in our salvation. In 
those of the first sort, both the working and the work do in common 
and undividedly belong unto and proceed from each person. And 
the reason hereof is, because they are all effects of the essential pro- 
perties 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 subsistence in that nature, and the distinct per- 
sons work in the order of their subsistence: John v. 19, 20, " Verily, 
verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but 
what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these 
also doeth 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 ori- 
ginal 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 voluntary, but natural and necessary from the one 
essence and distinct subsistences thereof. Secondly, There are those 
operations 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 designing of this work was 
absolutely voluntary, yet, upon a supposition thereof, the order of its 
accomplishment was made necessary from the order of the subsist- 


ence of the distinct persons in tlie Deity ; and that is here declared. 
Thus, [1.] The things to be declared unto us and bestowed on us 
are originally the Fathe7''s things. He is the peculiar fountain of 
them all. His love, his grace, his wisdom, his goodness, his counsel, 
his will, are 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 dis- 
posal, — 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. Answer- 
able 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 vinio us by the Holy Spirit: "Therefore said 
I, he shall take of mine and shall show it 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; Bor 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 the Son 
alcne 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, shows 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 [people] in the world ; 
so that whatever is done by him, it is the same as if it were wrought 
immediately by the Lord Christ himself 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 do consist, and an acquaintance 
herewith gives us our translation " out of darkness into the mar- 
vellous light of God." 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 from 
the Son, whom he loves, and hath given all things into his hand. 
He iKith made way for the communication of these things unto us, 
unto the glory of God ; and he doth it immediately by the Spirit, as 
hath been declared. Hereby are all our returns unto God to be re- 
gulated. 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 liira. But we cannot address ourselves with any of them im- 
mediately imto him. " There is no going to the Father/' saith 
Christ, " but by me," John xiv. 6. " By 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~cZe- 
scending of God towards us in love and grace issues or 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 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 
imder their convictions, or their fears, troubles, and dangers, and the 
prayers of believers. The former is merely vox natiircB clamantis 
ad Dominum naturce, — an outcry that distressed nature makes to 
the God of it, — and as such alone it considers him. But the other 
is vox Spiritus adoptionis clamantis per Christum, Ahha, Pater; 
it is the voice of the Spirit 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. Woe to professors of the gospel who shall be seduced to 
believe that all they have to do with God consists in their attend- 
ance 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 with his Son Jesus Christ." 
It is, therefore, of the highest importance unto us to inquire into and 
secure unto ourselves the promised workings of the Holy Spirit ; for 
by them alone are the love of the Father and the fruits of the media- 
tion 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 infidelity to suppose that, under the gospel, there is no communi- 
cation between God and us but what is, on his part, in laws, com- 
mands, and promises; and on ours, by obedience performed in our 
strength,^ and upon our convictions unto them. To exclude hence 
the real internal operations of the Holy Ghost, is to destroy the gos- 
pel. And, as we shall see f^irther afterward, this is the true ground 
and reason 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 actings 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 understand, 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, [in the 
power] of all other men ; at least, it is so with an ordinary 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 parti- 
cipation 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 favour 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 ap- 
plication; in the latter, as to the operation 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, com- 
fort, 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 pecu- 
liar 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 own 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 communicates unto 
us or worketh in us. He is not as a mere instrument 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 accord- 
ing 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 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 operations by his will and wis- 
dom. And, therefore, whereas some are said to "resist the Hoiy 
Ghost," 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 Lis operations. Men may resist some 
sort or kind of means that he useth, as to some certain end and pur- 
pose, 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?" 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 frustrated, 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 xxviii. 26, 27; 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 dispensa- 
tion 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 prin- 
ciple of resistance, that he is not, that he cannot be, resisted. 

8. 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 operations of all voluntary 
agents, who work by choice and judgment. 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 inten- 
tion of them, and yet no saving grace be wrought in them; such are 
his works of illumination, conviction, and sundry others. Men, I 
say, may have a work of the Holy Spirit on their hearts and minds, 
and yet not be sanctified and converted unto God ; for the nature 
and^ kind of his works are regulated by his own will and purpose. If 
he intend 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 espe- 
cial 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 fruitful- 
ness, 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 ail 
emulation and envy about spiritual gifts, that every one should or- 
derly make use of what he had received to the profit and edification 
of others. " They are," saitli he, "given and distributed by the same 
Spirit, according to his own will, to one after one manner, unto an- 
other after another; so that it is an unreasonable 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 operations 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 exhorta- 
tions of the Scripture, which are openly designed to excite and draw 
forth our own endeavours?" And this is indeed the principal diffi- 
culty wherewith some men seek to entangle 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 iu 
us, and of all the degrees of it, of all that is spiritually good iu 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, 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 toward us, that we may always have all sufficiency in 
all things, abounding to every good work," chap. ix. 8; that "witli- 
out 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 any spiritual good in us, or 
any degree of it, that is not wrought in us by the Spirit of God, both 
overthrows the grace of the gospel and denies God to be the only, 
first, supreme, and chiefest good, as also the immediate 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, esjje- 
cially 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 negli- 
gence 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 
beheve it, either 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 
earnestness, as we value our souls and their eternal welfare, to at- 
tend unto and comply withal. And we do know that whatever God 
hath promised he will do himself in us, towards us, and upon us, it 
is our duty to believe that he will so do. And to fancy an incon- 
sistency between these things is to charge God foolishly. 

3. If there be an opposition between these things, it is either be- 
cause 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 apply ourselves unto his commands, according 
to the conviction of our minds; and his work it is to enable us to 
perform them. 

4. He that will indulge, or can do so, unto sloth and negligence 
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 aiid assist- 
ances anywhere but where he prepares the soul with diligence in 
duty. And whereas he acts us no otherwise but in and by the facul- 
ties 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 nothing, un- 
less 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 furnished with an 
ability and power to attend unto and perform those duties whereon 
the increase of grace and hohness doth depend ; for although there 
is no grace nor degree ot 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 
righteousness, depend upon the use and improvement of grace re- 
ceived, 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 re- 
quireth 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 supplications and 
thanksgivings. His participation of the divine nature is the formal 
reason of our yielding unto him divine and religious worship in gene- 
ral; 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 per- 
son in and by whom he acts ; or, he is said at the same time to do the 
same thing distinctly by himself, 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 enabled to 
give their witness by him alone. So it is expressly declared. Acts 
i. 8, " Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost 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 testi- 
mony but in and by them. What, then, is the distinct testimony 
that is ascribed unto him? It must be somewhat that, in or by whom- 
soever it was wrought, did of its own nature discover its relation 
unto him as his work. So it was in this matter; for it was no other 
but those signs and wonders, or miraculous 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. 3, 4. 
The word was " confirmed, cwi'Tri/ji.apTvpoiJvTOi rov Qsoi ornMuoig n %a} 
Tspaei," — " God co-witnessing by signs and wonders." He enabled 
the apostles to bear witness unto Christ by their preaching, suffer- 
ings, holiness, and constant testimony which they gave unto his re- 
surrection. 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 themselves to be effects of his power, and were 
his distinct witness to Christ. So our apostle tells us, Rom. viii. 16, 
" The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, 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 witness 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. 1 7, 
" 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 
distinctly and separately the Spirit saith, " Come;" that is, he puts 
forth such earnest and fervent desires as have upon them an impres- 
sion of his immediate efficiency. So verse 20 carrieth the sense of 
the jalace, — namely, that it is Christ himself imto whom she says 
"Come;" or they pray for the hastening of his coming. Or they say 
"Come" unto others, in their invitation of them unto Christ, as the 
end of verse 17 seems to apply it: then is it the prayers and preach- 
ing 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 especial 
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, joins with them in this great request and supplication. 
And thereunto all believers are invited in the following words: " And 
let him that heareth say. Come." 

All these things were necessary to be premised in general, as giv- 
ing some insight into the nature of the operations of the Holy Spirit 
iu 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 privi- 
kge. All that I intend is to reduce 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 diiectly proposed unto us; 
and I shall begin with his work of gi-ace. 




The new creation completed — Regeneration the especial work of the Holy Spirit 
— Wrought under the Old Testament, hut 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 — Regeneration consisteth not in en- 
thusiastic raptures; their nature and danger — The whole doctrine necessary, 
despised, corrupted, vindicated. 

"We have formerly declared the work of the Holy Spirit in pre- 
paring and forming the natural body of Christ. This was the be- 
ginning 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 without form and void, 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 condition he moved on the prepared matter, 
preserving and cherishing of it, and communicating unto all things a 
principle of life, whereby they were animated, as we have declared. 
It was no otherwise in the new creation. There was a spiritual 
darkness and death came by sin on all mankind ; neither was there 
in any man living the least principle of spiritual life, or any disposi- 
tion thereunto. In this state of things, the Holy Spirit undertaketh 
to create a new world, new heavens and a new earth, wherein right- 
eousness should dwell. And this, in the first place, was by his effec- 
tual communication 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 regeneration, as we shall 
now manifest. 

First, .Regeneration in Scripture is everywhere assigned to be the 
proper and pecidiar work 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, lie cannot see the kingdom of God. 
Kicodemus saitli 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 in- 
quire of him about the kingdom of God. Our Saviour knowing 
how all our faith and obedience to God, and all our acceptance with 
him, depend 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 princi- 
pal efficient cause; and by water, as the pledge, sign, and token^ 
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 
signified by the water also, under which notion he is often pro- 

Hereof, then, or of this work, the Holy Spirit is the principal effi- 
cient cause ; whence he in whom it is wrought is said to be " born 
of the Spirit : " Verse 8, " So is every one that is born of the Spirit." 
And this is the same with what is delivered, chap. i. 18, "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 natural 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; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit," 
chap. iii. 6. And herein also we have a farther description of this Avork 
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 

* "Si in gratia, nonexnatur3, aqure, sed exprrosentia est Spiritus Sancti: numquid 

in aqua vivimus, sicut inSpiritu? uum^uid in aqua signamur sicut in Spiritu?" 

Ambros. de Spir. Sane. lib. i. cap. 6. 


because there is in it a communication of a new spiritual life, it is 
called a " vivification" or " quickening," with respect unto the state 
wherein 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 toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which 
we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the wash- 
ing 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 expressly, — 
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 everywhere ascribed in the Scripture. See John 
iii. 16; Eph. i. 3-6. 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 Jesus Christ 
our Saviour, in the whole work of his mediation, verse 6. And the 
immediate efficient cause in the communication of the love and kind- 
ness 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 sanctified unto God. 

More testimonies unto this purpose need not be insisted on. This 
tiTJth, 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,^ is, in words at least, so 
far as I know, granted by all who pretend to sobriety in Christianity. 
That by some others it hath been derided and exploded is the occa- 
sion 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 Scripture, according to the analogy 

1 " Similiter ex Spiritu secundum gratiam nos renasci, Dominus ipse testatur dicens, 
Quod naium est ex carne, caro est, quia de carne natum est ; et quod natum est de Spiritu, 
Spiritus est, quia Spiritus Deus est. Clai'et igitur spiritualis quoque generationis 
authorem esse Spiritum Sanctum, quia secundum Deum creamur et Filii Dei sumus. 
Ergo cum ille nos in regnum suum per adoptionem sacrie regenerationis assumpserit, 
nos ei quod suum est denegamus? ille nos supernsae generationis hceredes fecit, no3 
haereditatem vindicamus, refutamus authorem ; sed non potest manere beneficium cum 
author excluditur, nee author sine munei'e, nee sine authore munus. Si vindicaa 
gratiam, crede 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 nostra 
homine nemo duhitaverit." — Ambros. de Spir. Sane. lib. ii. cap. 9. 

VOL. III. 14 


of faith and the experiences of them that beheve; it hath been 
done already by others. My present aim is only to confirm the fun- 
damental principles of truth concerning those operations of the Holy 
Spirit, which at this day are opposed with violence and virulence. 
And what I shall offer on the present subject may be reduced unto 
the ensuing heads : — 

First, Although the work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit was 
wrought under the Old Testament, even from the foundation 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 evi- 
dence which it is brought forth into by the gospel. This is evident 
from the discourse which our blessed Saviour had with Nicodemus 
on this subject; for when he acquainted him clearly with the doctrine 
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?" — "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 mightst 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 revealed. 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 cir- 
cumcise 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 proved. 

But yet we see that it was so obscurely declared that the prin- 
cipal masters and teachers of the people knew little or nothing of it 
Some, indeed, would have this regeneration, 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 necessity of reformation of hfe 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 advantage of charging him of being ignorant 
of what indeed he full well knew and understood, is a blasphemous 
imagiuatiun. How they can free themselves from the guilt hereof 


who look on "regeneration " as no more but a metaphorical expression 
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, becommg a nev) moral mcmi, — a thing 
which all the world, Jews and Gentiles, understood, — our Lord Jesus 
was so far from bringing 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 although 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 thing that otherwise ever befell 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 unintelligible. 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 Testa- 
ment, but only a reformation of life, and the improvement of men's 
natural abilities in the exercise of moral virtue, through the applica- 
tion of outward means unto their minds and understandings, con- 
ducting and -persuading thereunto, they must be granted to be ob- 
scure beyond those of any other writers whatsoever, as some have not 
feared already to publish unto the world concerning 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 pro- 
perly expressed, so as they ought to be, and so as they are capable 
to be expressed; the difficulties which seem to be in them arising 
from the mysterious nature of the things themselves contained in 
them, and the weakness of our minds in apjjrehending such things, 
and not from any obscurity or intricacy in the declaration of them. 
And herein, indeed, consists the main contest wherein to things with 
the most are reduced. Some judge tha\ all things are so expressed 
in the Scripture, with a condescension unto our capacity, 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 intended and to be understood. 
Some judge the things of the gospel to be deep and mysterious, the 
words and expressions 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 Tes- 


tament. All the elect of God, in their several generations, were 
regenerate by the Spirit of God. But in that ampliation and en- 
largement 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 na- 
ture of the work itself is far more clearly, evidently, and distinctly 
revealed and declared. And because this is the principal and in- 
ternal remedy of that disease which the Lord Christ came to cure 
and take away, one of the first things that he preached was the doc- 
trine 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," D*jr'3p nin^n^ Ps. 
Ixxviii. 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, declares 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 
I than this of our regeneration by the effectual and ineffable operation 
of the Holy Spirit; and it is a consequent and fruit of the deprava- 
tion of our nature, that, against the full light and evidence of truth, 
now clearly manifested, this great and holy work is opposed and de- 
' spised. 

Few, indeed, have yet the confidence in plain and intelligible 
words to deny it absolutely; but many tread in the steps of him 
who first in the church of God undertook to undermine it.^ This 
was Pelagius, whose principal artifice, which he used in the intro- 
duction of his heresy, was in the clouding of his intentions with 
general and ambiguous expressions, as some would by 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 

' " Denique quomodo respondeat advertite, et videte latebras ambiguitatis falsitati 
praeparare ret'ugia, ita ut etiam nos cum primum ea legimus, recta vel correcta prope- 
nioduin gauderemiis." — August, de Peccat. Grig., cap. 18. 

" Mihi peiie persuaserat banc illam gratiam de qua qucestio est confiteri; quominus in 
multis ejus opusculi locis sibi ipsi contradicere videretur. Sed cum in manus meas et 
alia venisseut qute posterius latiusque sciipsit, vidi quemadmodum etiam illic gratiam 
nominare sed aiubigua generalitate quid sentiret abscondeiis, gratite tamen vocabulo 
frangens invidiam, offensionemque dcclinans."— Id. de Grat. Christ., lib. i. cap. 37. 

Vid. August. Ub. i. cont. Julianum, cap. 5, lib. iii., cap. 1, Lib. de Gest. ; Pelag., 
cap. 30, Epist. 95, ad Innocent. ; Epist. Innocent, ad August. 
_ " Ncgant etiam quam ad sacram Christi virginem Ncmebiadem in oriente conscrip- 
simus, et noverint nos ita hominis laudare naturam ut Dei semper addamus auxilium 
(verba Pelagii quibus respoudct Augustiuu.s), istaui sane lege, miliique pene persuaserat, 
hunc illam gratiam de qua quaestio est confiteri." — Id. ubi supra. 

CHAP. L] new creation BY REGENERATION. 213 

understanding liis expressions. And by this means, as he got himself 
acquitted in the judgment of some, less experienced in the sleights 
and cunning craftiness of them who lie in wait to deceive, and ^juri- 
dically freed in an assembly of bishops; so in all. probability he had 
suddenly infected the whole church with the poison of those opinions, 
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 per- 
sons, Austin especially, to discover his frauds, to refel his calumnies, 
and to confute his sophisms ; which they did with indefatigable industiy 
and good success. But yet these tares, being once sown by the en- 
vious 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 undertaken the same cause with Pelagius 
do not equal him either in learning or diligence, or an appearance of 
piety and devotion, yet do they exactly imitate him in declaring their 
minds in cloudy, ambiguous expressions, capable of various construc- 
tions until they are fully examined, and thereon reproaching (as ho 
did) those that oppose them as not aright representing their senti- 
ments, when they judge it their advantage so to do ; as the scurrilous, 
clamorous writings of S. P.^ do sufficiently manifest. 

Secondly, Regeneration by the Holy Sj^irit is the same worh, 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 ap- 
plication 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 " the ingrafted 
word, which is able to save our souls," James i. 21 ; and the " incor- 
ruptible seed," by which we are " born again," 1 Pet. i. 23. Some- 
§ times 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. 

1 " Fefellit judicium Palffistinum, propterea ibi videtur purgatus ; Eomanam vero ec- 
clesiam, ubi cum esse notissimum scitis fallcie usque quaque iion potuit, quamvis et hoc 
fuerit utrumque conatus. Taiito judiccs fefellit occultius, quanto exponit ista versu- 
tius." — August. Lib. de Peccat. Grig. cap. 16. 

2 Samuel i'aiker; see paye 121 oi' tliis vol. — Ed. 


And great variety there is, also, in the perception 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, and 
whither it goeth, so is every one that is born of the Spirit," John 
iil 8. 

In the minds and consciences of some, this is made known by in- 
fallible sisrns and tokens. Paul knew that Christ was formed and 
revealed in himself. Gal. i. 15, 16. So he declared that whoever is in 
Christ Jesus " is a new creature," 2 Cor. v. 1 7, — 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 expres- 
sions 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 groivth 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 occa- 
sions whereof are not here to be enumerated. But notwithstanding 
all differences in previous dispositions, in the application of out- 
ward means, in the manner of it, ordinary or extraordinary, in the 
consequents 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 re- 
generate one way, by one kind of operation of the Holy Spirit, under 
the Old Testament, and those under the New Testament [by] another. 
They who were miraculously 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 operations of the Holy Spirit which were visi- 
ble 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 unacquaintedness 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 absolutely 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 towards God. They are all alike alie- 
nated from him, and all alike under his curse, Ps. li. 5 ; John iii. 
5, S6; Rom. iii. 19, v. 15-18; Eph. ii. 3; Tit. iii. 8, 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 unrege- 
nerate alike; as amongst those who are regenerate there are diffe- 
rent degrees of holiness and righteousness, one, it may be, far ex- 
ceeding another, yet there is between them no difference of state and 
condition, — they are all equally regenerate. Yea, some may be in a 
greater forwardness and preparation for the Avork itself, and thereby 
in a greater nearness to the state of it than others; but the state it- 
self is incapable of such degrees. Now, it must be the same work, 
for the kind and nature of it, which relieves and translates men out 
of the same state and condition. That which gives the formal rea- 
son 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 b}^ nature dead in trespasses 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 whereinto 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 heavenly 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 outgo others in the accomplishments and per- 
fections of grace. There was, then, never but one kind of regenera- 
tion 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 communica- 
tion of that grace, are the same, shall be afterward 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 ima- 
gination 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 neio 
hirth is, because they hate a new life. He that cannot 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 there- 
unto, and then what it is indeed. 

First, Regenerp,tion doth not consist in a participation of the ordi- 
nance 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 ordinances of the gospel, as baptism, 
do really communicate internal grace unto them that are, as to the 
outward manner of their administration, duly made partakers of 
them, whether ex opere operato, as the Papists speak, or as a. 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 profession of repentance in them that 
are adult, be not the whole of what is called regeneration. The 
vanity of this presumptuous folly, destructive of all the gi'ace of 
the gospel, invented to countenance men in their sins, and to hide 
from them the necessity of being born again, and therein of turning 
unto God, will be laid open in our declaration of the nature of the 
work itself. For the present, the ensuing reasons will serve to re- 
move 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 effect- 
ing 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 
really states this co,se, 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 toward God), by the 
resurrection of Jesus Christ." The outward administration of this 
ordinance, considered materially, reacheth no farther but to the wash- 
ing away of " the filth of the flesh;" but more is signified thereby. 


There is denoted in it the restipulation of a "good conscience toward 
God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" from the dead, or a " con- 
science purged from dead worlds to serve the living God," Heb. ix. 14, 
and quickened by virtue of his resurrection unto holy obedience. See 
Rom. vi. 3-7. S. The apostle Paul doth plainly distinguish between 
the outward ordinances, with what belongs unto a due participa- 
tion of them, and the work of regeneration itself: Gal. vi. 15, "In 
Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircum- 
cision, 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 partici- 
pation of all the ordinances of the gospel; but from them all he 
distinguisheth the new creation, as that which they may be without, 
and which being 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 for- 
giveness of sins, — must of necessity be regenerate. 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 without a profession of fiiith and repentance. Accord- 
ingly, it is said that he "believed," Acts viii. 13, — that is, made a 
profession of his faith in the gospel. Yet he was not regenerate ; for at 
the same time he had "neither part nor lot in that matter," his "heart 
not being right in the sight of God," but was "in the gall of bitterness, 
and in the bond of iniquity," verses 21, 23 ; which is not the descrip- 
tion of a person newly regenerate and born again. Hence the cabalis- 
tical Jews, who grope in darkness after the old notions of truth that 
were amoncj their forefathers, do sav, 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 reformation 
of life and conversation. Let us suppose such a reformation, to be 
extensive unto all known instances. Suppose a man be changed from 
sensuality unto 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 


througli the preaching of the gospel, so " escaping the polhjtions that 
are in the world through lust, even hy the knowledge of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ/' or the directions of his doctrine delivered 
iu the gospel; — yet I say, all this, and all this added unto baptism, 
accompanied with a profession of faith and repentance, is not rege- 
neration, nor do they comprise it in them. And I have extended 
this assertion beyond what some nmong us, so far as I can see, do so 
much as pretend unto in their confused notions and sophistical ex- 
pressions about morality, when they make it the same with grace. 
Eut whatever there may be of actual righteousness in these things, 
they do not express an inherent, habitual righteousness; which who- 
soever 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 doe- 
trine, with respect unto virtue and morality, by the fruits of it, com- 
pared with theirs by whom it is denied. In the meantime, 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 
profligate 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 others 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 Christian religion nor introductive of atheism, be- 
fore they are too confident of their success. 

If there be in and required unto regeneration, the Mnfusion of a 

' " Per inlwrcntem justitiam intelliVimus supematurale donum gratite sanctificantis, 
opposituin originali peccato, et in singulis animce facultatibus reparans et reiKjvans 
iliam Dei imaginem, qune per peccatum originale foedata ac dissipata fnit. Originale 
peccatum mentein tenebris implevit, baec infusa gratia lumine coelesti collustrat. Istud 


new, real, spiritual principle into the soul and its faculties, of spiri- 
tual life, liglit, holiness, and righteousness, disposed unto and suited 
for the destruction or expulsion of a contrary, inbred, habitual prin- 
ciple 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 observed for 
the clearing of this assertion, before we come to the proof and con- 
firmation of it; as, — 1. That this reformation of life, which we say 
is not regeneration, or that regeneration doth not consist therein, is 
a necessary duty, indispensably required of all men ; for we shall 
take it here for the whole course of actual obedience unto God, and 
that according to the gospel. Those, indeed, by whom it is urged 
and pressed in the room of regeneration, or as that wherein regene- 
ration doth consist, do give such an account and description of it as 
that it is, or at least may be, foreign unto true 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 pre- 
scribed unto us. 2. That the principle before described, wherein 
regeneration as passively considered, or as wrought in us, consists, doth 
always certainly and infallibly produce the reformation of life in- 
tended. In some it doth it more comj)letely, in others more imper- 
fectly, in all sincerely; for the same grace in nature and kind is 
communicated unto several persons 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. There- 
fore, 3. The difference in this matter cometh unto this head : We say 
and believe that regeneration consists in spirituali renovatione na- 
turcB, — " in a spiritual renovation of our nature ; " our modern So- 
cinians, that it doth so in morali reformatione vitce, — " in a moral 
reformation of life." Now, as we grant that this spiritual renova- 
tion of nature will infallibly produce a moral reformation of life; so 
if they will grant that this moral reformation 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 receiv- 

cor humanum obstinatione et odio Dei ac divinse legis maculavit, hsec infusa justitia 
cor emoUit et amore boni acceiidit et inflammat. Postremo illud afifectus omoes atque 
ipsura appetitum rebcllione infecit ; hsec renovata sanctitas in ordinem cogit perturbatas 
fifi'ectiones, et ipsam rebellem concupiscentiam dominio spoliat, et quasi sub jugum 
mittit." — Davenant. de Justit. Habit, cap. iii. 

"Fides tanquam radix imbre suscepto hieret in aninia3 solo; ut cum per legem Dei 
cxcoli cceperit surgant in ea rami qui fructus operum ferant. Non ergo ex operibiis 
radix justitite, sed exradice justitiaa fructus opeiiim crescit." — Origen. lib. iv. in Epist. 
ad Roman. 


ing the Holy Ghost, and then all graces with hlm.^ However, if they 
only design to speak ambiguously, improperly, and unscripturally, 
confounding effects and their causes, habits and actions, faculties or 
powers and occasional acts, infused principles and acquired habits, 
spiritual and moral, grace and nature, that they may take an oppor- 
tunity to rail at others for want of better advantage, I shall not con- 
tend with them ; for allow a new spiritual principle, an infused habit 
of grace, or gracious abilities, to be required in and unto regenera- 
tion, 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 abun- 
dantly testifieth unto. 

2 Cor. V, 17, " If any man be in Christ he is a new creature." 
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 creating act of the power of God,^ 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 
moral 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 opposed 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, Ps. 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 in- 
ternal 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 conver- 
sation, only the expression is metaphorical. A new creature is a morhl 

• "Is qui Spiritus Sancti particeps efficitur, per communionem ejus fit spiritualis pa- 
riter et sauctus."— Didym. lib. i. de Spir. Sane, p. 218, inter opera Ilieronymi. 

" Qui Spintu Sanctoplenus est statim universis donationibus Dei repletur, sapientia, 
BCientia, fide, cjieterisque virtutibus." Id. ibid. 

" Nuuquam enim accipit quisquam spirituales benedictiones Dei, nisi prsecesserit 
bpintus banctus; qui enim habet Spiritum Sanctum consequenter habebit benedic- 
tiones. — Idem, p 220. 

» " Sicut in nativitate carnali omnem nascentis hominis voluntatem pracedit operis 
divini lormatio sic in spuituali nativitate qua veterem hominem deponere incipimus." 
— ruljrciit, do Iiicarnat. et Grat. Christ, cap. 29. 

"Forma pi-ipccssit in carne Christi, quam in'nostra fide spiritualiter agnoscamus; 
nam Christus Pi lus Dei, secundum carnem de Spiritu Sancto conceptus et natus est: 
carncm autcm illam ncc concipere virgo posset nee parere, nisi ejus carnis Spiritus 
Sanctus operotur exordium. Sic etiam in hominis corde nee concipi fides potuit nee 
augeri, nisi eam Spiritus Sanctus effundat et nutriat. Ex eodem namque Spiritu reuaU 
61UUUS, ci quo Cluistus natus est." — Idem, cap. xx. •» *- 


man that hath changed his course and 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. 16-22, then he was always a new creature/' 
This is good gospel, at once overthrowing original sin and the grace 
jf 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, in- 
deed, ascribed more unto grace than these men do, although he de- 
nied this creation of a new princii)le of grace in us antecedent unto 
acts of obedience/ And this turning all Scripture expressions 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 im- 
proper 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 dispositions, power, or 
ability to them and for them. Hence it is called the " divine na- 
ture : " 2 Pet. i. 4, " He hath given unto us exceeding great and pre- 
cious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine 
nature." This ^s/a (phaig, 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," therefore, we 
are made partakers of a divine, supernatural principle 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 conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the 
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 respect both to its 
foundation and progress, that is here described. 1. The founda- 
tion 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 renovation 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 de- 
clared. Herein consists our "renovation in knowledge, after the image 
of him who created us," Col. iii. 10. And, 2. The principle itself infus- 
ed into us, created in us, is called the "new man," Eph. iv. 24, — that 
is, the new creature before mentioned; and it is called the " new 

» " AdjuvatnosDeus" (the words of Pelagius), "per doctrinam et revelationem suam, 
dum cordis nostri oculos aperit, dum nobis, ne prsesentibus occupemur, futura demon- 
strat, dum diaboli pandit insidias, dum nos multiformi et ineffabili dono gratise cselestis 
illuminat." — August. Lib. de Grat. cont. Pelag. et Caelest. cap. vii. 


man/* because it consists in the universal change of the whole soul, as 
it is the principle of all spiritual and moral action. And, (1.) It is 
opposed unto the "old man," "Put off the old man, and put on the 
new man," verses 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 corrupt 
conversation, but the principle and root of it ; for it is distinguished 
both from the conversation of men, and those corrupt lusts which are 
exercised therein, as to that exercise. And, (2.) It is called the " new 
man," because it is the effect and product of God's creating power, 
and that in a way of "a new creation," see Eph. i. 1.9 ; Col. ii. 12, 13 ; 
2 Thesa i. 11; and it is here said to be "created after God," Eph. iv.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 in- 
stant. 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," chap. 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 nature, we must be the workman- 
ship of God, created unto them, or enabled spiritually for the per- 
formance 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, 
*' Ye 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 up- 
rightness, 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 endowed withal antecedently unto all voluntary actions 
whereby he was to live to God. Such, therefore, must be our rege- 
neration, 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 [the] order of nature, [and] enabhng men thereunto, ac- 
cording unto the mind of God. 

Hereunto accords that of our Saviour, Luke vl 43, **A good tree 


bringeth not forth corrupt fruit, neither doth a corrupt tree hring 
forth good fruit;" compared with Matt. vii. 18. The fruit followeth 
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, chap, 
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 declares to be an 'imme- 
diate supernatural work of God in us and upon us, and all that obe- 
dience, holiness, righteousness, virtue, or whatever is good in us, 
which is the consequent, product, and effect of it. Yea, God hath de- 
clared this expressly in his covenant, Ezek. xxxvi. 25-27; Jer. xxxi. 
S3, 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 obedience 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 regenera- 
tion or grace, as that it is a thing of no acceptation with God abso- 
lutely, whatever use or reputation it may be of in the world. 

And yet farther : This work is described to consist in the sanctifi- 
cation 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 definition of morality, — namely, that it is the prin- 
cipal sanctification 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, (X 
an inherent, habitual corruption of nature; for the masters unto the 


men of this persuasion tell us that whatever is of vice or defilement 
in us, it is contracted by a custom of sinning only. And their con- 
ceptions hereof do regulate 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 dis- 
positions 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 regenera- 
tion 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 stubbornness 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 vmto it. 

Thirdly, The woik 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 de- 
luded persons, apprehended or pretended unto ; but the countenanc- 
ing of any such imaginations is falsely and injuriously charged on 
them who maintain 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 inspira- 
tions or unaccountable raptures, and to esteem them for conversion 
unto God, although, in the meanthne, they live in a neglect of 
holiness and righteousness 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 meantime, we cannot but call aloud 
that others would discover their diligence in attendance 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 

CHAP, l] new creation BY REGENERATION. 225 

accusation; and that it is so, tlie 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 testimony at the great 
day of the Lord. We may, therefore, as unto this negative prmciple, 
observe three things: — 1. That the Holy Spirit in tins 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 facul- 
ties of their souls, their minds, wills, and affections, are meet to be 
affected and wrought upon. He doth not come upon them with in- 
voluntary raptures, using their faculties and powers as the evil spirit 
wrests the bodies of them whom he possesseth. His whole work, 
therefore, is rationality to be accounted for by and unto them who 
believe the Scripture, and have received the Spirit of truth, whom 
the world cannot receive. T\iefo7'mal efficiency of the Spirit, indeed, 
in the putting forth the exceeding greatness of his power in our 
quickening, — which the ancient church constantly calleth his " inspi- 
ration of grace," both in private writing and canons of councils, — is 
no otherwise to be comprehended by us than any other creating act of 
divine power ; for as we hear the wind, but know not whence it cometh, 
and whither it goeth, " so is every one that is born of the Spirit." 
Yet these two things are certain herein: — (1.) That he worketh no- 
thing, 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 
Avork 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 ialmighty facility he produceth the effect which he 

This great work, therefore, neither in part nor whole consists in 
raptures, ecstasies, visions, enthusiastic inspirations, 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 tnemselves in 
their hatred of them and of the work itself. Wherefore, — 

2. Where, by reason of distempers of mind, disorder of fancy, or 
long continuance of distressing fears and sorro\vs, 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 tliert-by, it may be of great danger unto their 

VOL. III. 1^ 


souls, and is never of any solid use or advantage. Such apprehen- 
sions, 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, — 

S. 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, enthu- 
siastic, 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 
"beside himself," or ecstatical, Mark iii. 21, and "they went out to 
lay hold on him." So Festus judged of Paul, Acts xxvi. 24, 25. And 
the author of the Book of Wisdom gives us an account what acknow- 
ledgments some will make when it shall be too late, as to their own 
advantage: Chap. v. 3-5, " They shall say, crying out, because of the 
trouble of their minds. This is he whom Ave accounted a scorn, and 
a common reproach. We fools esteemed his life madness, and his 
latter end to have been shameftd, 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 regenerating the 
souls of men is diligently to be inquired into by the preachers 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 regenerated through the word of his 
ministry: 1 Cor. iv. 15, "Though ye have ten thousand instructors 
in Christ, yet have ye 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 advan- 
tage unto any one day to have assumed that title, when it hath had 
Lo foundation in that work as to its effectual success. So, speaking 
<5f Onesimus, who was converted 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 
bis ministry, in the commission he had for preaching the gospel, 
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 under- 
stand 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 operation, 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 show 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 convei'sion, 
to set down nice and subtile processes of regeneration, to fill people's 
heads with innumerable 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 regeneration that are not war- 
ranted 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 i.^st 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 ex- 
pressions, on the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, by such as not only 
profess themselves to be ministers, but of a higher degree than ordi- 
nary, 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 indispen- 
sably incumbent on all ministers of the gospel 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 accomplishment of it upon the souls of them unto whom they 
dispense the word. Neither, without some competent knowledge 
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 re- 
generation, it is a madness, 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 

' Our author quotes from Parker's " Defence and Continuation of the Ecclesiastical 
Polity," etc. See page 121 of this voliune Ed. 


their own souls, is one great cause of that lifeless and unprofitable 
ininistry 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 ye be in the faith; 
prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus 
Christ is in you, except ye 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 
T)een upon their hearts; and none will deter them from it but those 
who have a design to hoodwink them to perdition. 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 com- 
prehend 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 na- 
ture 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, either, [1.] That men may go to hea- 
ven, or " enter into the kingdom of God," and not be " born again," 
contrary to that of our Saviour, John iii. 5 ; or, [2.] That men may 
be " bom again," and yet live in sin, contrary to 1 John iii. 9. 



Sundry things preparatory to the work of conversion— Material and formal dis- 
positions, with 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 ot this work; mind, affections, and conscience — 
Nature of this whole work, and difference from saving conversion farther de- 

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 dispositive 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 ctf 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 consider whose ashes 
they trample on and scorn. Lawful, doubtless, it is for any man, on 
just grounds, to dissent from their judgments and determinations;^ 
but to do it with an imputation of folly, with derision, contempt, 
scorn, and scoffing, at what they believed and taught, becometh only 
a generation 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 Tnaterial disposition is that which disposeth and some way 
maketh a subject fit for the reception of that which shall be com- 
municated, added, or infused into it as its form. So wood by dry- 
ness and a due composure is made fit and ready to admit of firing, 
or continual fire. A formal disposition 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 re- 
ception of the full light of the sun. The former we allow here, not 
the latter. Thus, in natural generation there are sundry dispositions 
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 them. 

I shall in this place give only a summary account of \\i\& prepara- 
tory work, because in the close of these discourses 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 prejudices and stub- 

" " Sunt quasdam opera externa, ab hominibus ordinarie requisita, priusquam ad 
statum regenerationis, aut conversionis perducautur, qiite ab iisdcm quandoqiie libere 
fieri, quandoque libere oniitti solent ; ut adire ecclesiam, audire verbi pr^conium, et id 
genus alia. 

" Sunt qusedam effecta interna ad conversionem sive regenerationem prsevia, quse yir- 
tuto verbi, spiritusque innondumregeneratorum cordibus excitantur ; qualia suntiiotitia 
voluntatis divinse, sensus peccati, timor poeroe; cogitatio de liberationc, spos aliquave- 
nise." — Synod. Dordrec. Senteutia Theolog. iJritan. ad Artie, quaitum, thes. 1, 2, p. 139. 


bornness in sinning do keep or liinder men from the performance 
of them. And these we may reduce unto two heads: — 1. An out- 
ward attendance unto the dispensation of the word of God, with 
those other external means of grace which accompany it or are ap- 
pointed 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 contempt of God; which they must answer for. 2. A diligent 
intension 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 exercise 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, as- 
sisted 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 attain 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 dili- 
gent in their endeavours after knowledge in spiritual things, as re- 
vealed 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 regeneration, 
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 principal occasion and cause of 
the eternal ruin of the souls of the generality of them to whom or 
amongst whom the gospel is preached: "This is the condemnation, 
that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than 
light, because their deeds were evil," John iii. 19. The generality of 
men know full well that they do in this matter no more what they 


are able than what they should. All pleadable pretences of inability 
and weakness are far from them. They cannot but know here, and 
they shall be forced to confess 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 here- 
of against themselves will make up a great part of their last dread- 
ful cry. 2. In the most diligent use of outward means, men are 7iot 
able of themselves to attain unto regeneration, or complete conversion 
to God, without an especial, 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, need not here be insisted on. S. 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 comparison 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 approba- 
tion 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 imme- 
diate instrumental cause, v/hich ordinarily do precede the work of 
regeneration, or real conversion unto God. And they are reducible 
unto three heads: — 1, Illumination; 2. Conviction; 8. Reforma- 
tion. The first of these respects the mind only; the second, the 
mind, conscience, and affections : and the third, the life and conver- 
sation: — 

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 revelation, come under this denomination of illumina- 
tion. And hereof there are three degrees: — (1.) That which ariseth 
merely from an industrious application of the rational faculties of 
our souls to know, perceive, and understand the doctrines of truth as 
revealed unto us; for hereby much knowledge of divine truth may 
be obtained, which others, through their negligence, sloth, and pride, 
are unacquainted with. And this knowledge I refer unto illumina- 
tion, — that IS, a light superadded to the innate conceptions of men's 


minds, and beyond what of themselves they can extend unto, — be- 
cause it is concerning such thuigs as the heart of man could never of 
itself conceive, but the very knowledge of them is communicated l)y 
their revelation, 1 Cor. ii. 9, 11. And the reason why so very few 
do exercise themselves to the attaining of this knowledge, according 
to their abilities, is because of the enmity which is in the carnal 
minds of all men by nature unto the things themselves that are re- 
vealed. And within the compass of this degree I compi'ise all 
knowledge of spiritual things that is merely natural. (2.) There is 
an illumination 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 natural abilities. 

For, [1.] It adds perspicuity unto it, making the things discerned 
in it more clear and perspicuous to the mind. Hence men endowed 
with it are said to " know the way of righteousness," 2 Pet. ii. 21, — 
clearly and distinctly to apprehend the doctrine of the gospel as the 
way of righteousness. They know it not only or merely as true, but 
as a way of righteousness, — 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, chap. 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 illu- 
minated 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. 13, and of sundry of the 
Jews, John ii. 23, xii. 42. [3.] It adds unto them some kind of 
evanidjoy. These " receive the word with joy," and yet have "no 
root in themselves," Luke viii. 13. They " rejoice in the light" of 
it, at least " for a season," John v. 35. Persons that are thus enlight- 
ened will be variously affected with the word, so as they are not 
whose natural faculties are not spiritually excited. [4.] It adds oft- 
times gifts also, whereof this spiritual light is, as it were, the com- 
mon matter, which in exercise is formed and fashioned in great 
variety. ^ I say, this kind of spiritual light, the effect of this illumi- 
nation, is the subject-matter, and contains in it the substance, of all 
spiritual gifts. One sort of gift it is when put forth and exercised 
in one way, or one kind of duty, and another as in another. And 
where it is improved into gifts, which principally 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 dotli necessarily or infallibly ensue upon it. A third degree is 
required thereunto, which we shall afterward explain. Many, there- 
fore, may be thus enlightened, and yet never be converted. Secondly, 
That in order of nature it is previous unto a full and real conver- 
sion 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 participation 
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 all prophesy, and there come in 
one that believeth not, he is convinced 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 ac- 
company it; as, — (1.) A disquieting sense of the guilt of sin -with. 
respect unto the law of God, with his threatenings and future judg- 
ment. Things that before were slighted and made a mock of do 
now become the soul's burden and constant disquietment. " 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 variou'sly affected with fears and angtiish, in various degrees,^ 
according as impressions are made upon them by the word. And 
these degrees are not prescribed as necessary duties unto persons 
under their convictions, 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 heedfully 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.) Sorrow or grief for sin committed, 
because past and irrecoverable ; which is tiie formal reason of this 
condemning sorrow. This the Scripture calls " soitow of the world," 
2 Cor. vii. 10; divmes, usually, legal sorrow, as that which, in con- 
junction 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 

1 " Heu miserum, nimisque miserum quem torquet conscientia sua, quam fugcre non 
potest; nimis miserum quem expectat daninatio sua quam vitare non potest, nisi Dcus 
eripiat. Nimis est infelix cui mors seterna est sensibilis; niniis serumnosus quem terrent 
continui de sua infelicitate horrores." — August, de Contritione Cordis. 


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 despair, it cannot be but that it will be 
filled with thoughts, desires, inquiries, and contrivances about a de- 
liverance out of that state and condition wherein it is; as Acts ii. 37, 
xvi. 80. 

3. Oftentimes a great reformation of life and change in affec- 
tions doth ensue hereon ; as Matt. xiii. 20 ; 2 Pet. ii. 20 ; Matt. xii. 44. 

All these things may be -wrought in the minds of men by the dis- 
pensation of the word, and yet the work of regeneration 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 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 imto 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 over- 
borne 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 instance, unto any considerable reformation of life, and 
attendance 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 material preparations unto regene- 
ration, disposing the mind unto the reception of the grace of God. 

And the doctrine concerning these things hath been variously 
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 ex- 
periences 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 
« meiisure 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 no* 
about once to disprove by Scripture or reason what hath been taught 
or deHvered by any sober persons to this purpose, nor do they en- 
deavour themselves to declare from or by the Scriptures what is 
the work of regeneration, what are the causes and effects of it, in 
opposition thereunto. These and such like ways, made use of by all 
that have treated of spiritual things from the foundation of Christi- 
anity, are despised and rejected; but horrible and contemptuous re- 
proaches are cast upon the things themselves, in words heaped to- 
gether on purpose to expose them unto scorn among persons ignorant 
of the gospel and themselves. 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 account 
is also given concerning all spiritual desertions, or joys and refresh- 
ments ; 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 experi- 
ence; 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 partioidarly to inquire 
into them, so the doctrine concerning them is in a great measure 
retained in the church of Rome itself. Only some amongst our- 
selves are weary of them ; who, being no way able to oppose the prin- 
ciples 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 ignorance and personal unacquaintance with those things which 
inseparably accompany that conviction of sin, righteousness, and 
judgment which our Lord Jesus Christ hath promised to send the 
Holy Spirit to work in all that should believe, they make the re- 
proaching of it in others a principal effect of that religion which they 
profess. " Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure. The 
Lord knoweth thein that are his." But we must return to our purpose. 
Thirdly, All the things mentioned as wrought instrumentally 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 preaching (with the effects which it had to- 
wards many) of the prophets of old, Isa. xlix. 4, Jer. xv, 20, Ezek. 
xxxiii. 81, 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 administration of 
the Spirit, are as full of blindness, hardness, and obstinacy, as any 
in the world who are utterly deprived of it. Many amongst our- 
selves sit all their days under the preaching of the word, and yet 
have none of the effects mentioned wrought upon them, when others, 
their associates in hearing, are really affected, convinced, and con- 
verted. 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 securely 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 ascrip- 
tion 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 nature 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 ilkmiina- 
tion 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 efficiency for, is not re- 
quired. 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 reformed, 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 Saviour'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 maketb a great ap- 
pearance and resemblance of regeneration itself, or of real conversion 
to God, so that neither the world nor the church is able to distin- 
guish 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 doth lie in a good subserviency 
unto regeneration, 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 future 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 ieffect; whereby 
men may make a judgment how things stand in their own souls iit 
respect unto it: — 


1. It may be observed, that we have placed all the effects of this 
work in the mind, conscience, affections, and conversation. Hence 
it follows, notwithstanding all that is or may be spoken of it, that 
the will is neither really changed nor internally 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 continue in the soul, though not undis- 
turbed 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, security, and licentiousness as it 
was wont to do. Its fierceness and rage, rushing into sin as the horse 
into the battle, running on God and the thick bosses of his buckler, 
may be 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 representations of the terror of the 
Lord on the one hand, and the pleasure of eternal rest on the other, 
v/hich are made unto it: but yet still, setting aside all considera- 
tions foreign unto its own principle, the bent and inclination of the 
will itself is to sin and evil always and continually. The Avill of sin- 
ning may be restrained upon a thousand considerations, which light 
and convictions will administer, but it is not taken away. And this 
discovers itself when the very first motions of the soul towards sin- 
ful objects have a sensible complacency, until they are controlled by 
light and fear. This argues an unrenewed will, if it be constant and 

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, com-placency, 
and satisfaction in the lively spiritual nature and excellencies of the 
things revealed unto it. The true nature of saving illumination con- 
sists in this, that it gives the mind such a direct intuitive insight and 
jjrospect into spiritual things as that, in their own spiritual nature, 
they suit, please, and satisfy it, so that it is transformed into them, 
cast into the mould of them, and rests in them, Rom. vi. 17, xii. 2; 
1 Cor. ii. 13-15; 2 Cor. iii. 18, iv. 6. This the work we have in- 
sisted 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 attained 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 
Jesus 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. 

8. This work extends itself to the conscience also; but yet it doth 
not purge the conscience from dead works, that we shoidd serve the 
living God. This is the effect of a real application 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 reproving and condemning of all sin than it was be- 
fore. To condemn 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 variously 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 multiplied, it is more ready and quick in putting 
forth its judging and condemning power than it was. (2.) Con- 
science is assisted and directed hereby to condemn many things in 
sin Avhich before it approved of; for its judging power is still com- 
mensurate unto its light,- and many things are thereby now dis- 
covered to be sinful which were not so by the mere natural guidance 
under which before it was. But yet, notwithstanding 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 continu- 
ally 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 con- 
stant 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 j?^ them ; and, (2.) it doth not fill them. (1.) It is required 
that our affections 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 sitteth on the right hand 
of God. Set your affection on things above." The joys, the fears, 
the hopes, the sorrows, Avith reference unto spiritual and eternal 
things, which the work before mentioned doth produce, are evanid, 
uncertain, unstable, 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 occasions ; and 
sometimes as waters that fail, — no drop comes from them. Some- 


times they are hot, and sometimes cold ; sometimes up, and some- 
times down; sometimes all heaven, and sometimes all world; with- 
out equality, without stability. 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, assisted, 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 everywhere testifieth 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 
themselves; and yet they turn not out the family which dwelleth 
there, but there they make their abode still. Light and conviction, 
with all their train and attendants, come into the mind and affec- 
tions 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 affections, and fill up their places with spiritual 
things. But saving grace fills up the affections with spiritual things, 
fills the soul with sjoiritual 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 spiri- 
tual things; but if they would be carnal, disorderly, or predominant, 
it casts them out. 

5. This work is oftentimes carried on very far in reformation of 
life and conversation, so that it will express the whole form of god- 
liness 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 unto the abhorrency 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 
ofttimes leaves behind it great sins unregarded. So it left persecu- 
tion 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 
known sins, unless it be for a season, whilst the soul is under aflag- 
Q-ant pursuit of self-righteousness. Paul in that condition had pre- 
served himself so as that, according to the law, he was blameless; and 
the young man thought he had kept all the commandments 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 discovering itself; which is much spoken unto. (3.) The 
conversatio7is of persons who live and abide under the power of this 
work only is assuredly fading and decaying. Coldness, sloth, negli- 
gence, love of the world, carnal wisdom, and security, do every day 
get ground upon them. Hence, although by a long course of absti- 
nence 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, world- 
lings. But where the soul is inlaid with real saving grace, it is in a 
Btate 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 distin- 
guish in ourselves between the preparatory work mentioned, and 
tiiat of real saving conversion 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 Grod; 
and sometimes, [by] their contempt and rejection, a great aggrava- 
tion of the sin and misery of them in whom they were wrought. 

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 justification, 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.^ And in them there are goads and nails, which 
have been fastened by wise and experienced masters of the assem- 
bhes, 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 wliich they take to 
improve them, or to extricate themselves from the perplexity of 
them, theyhave managed the rules of Scripture with their own and 

1 "Norme advertimus multos fideles nostros ambulantes viam Dei, ex nulla parte 
ingenio comparari, non dicam quoi-undam hsereticorum, sed etiam minonim ? Item 
iionne yidemus quosdam bomines utriusque scxus in conjugali castitate viventes sine 
()uerela, et tamen vel luereticos vel Paganos, \el etiam in vera fide et vera ecclesia sic 
tepidos, ut eos miremur meretricum et histrionum subito conversorum, non solum sa- 
pientiS; et temperantia sed etiam fide, spe et charitate superari." — August, lib. ii. 
*^uaes. ad Simplician. q. 2. 

\OL. Hi. It) 


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 these 
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 there- 
fore reproach them, they will be 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 con- 
vinced 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. 



Contempt and corruption of the doctrine of regeneration — All men in the world 
regenerate or unregenerate — General description of corrupted nature — De- 
pravation of the mind — Darkness upon it — The nature of spiritual darkness — 
Reduced unto two heads — Of darkness objective; hovsr removed — Of darkness 
subjective ; its nature and power proved — Eph. iv. 17, 18, opened and 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 — "Vu^ixoc eLi^pM-ro;, or the "natural man," who — Spiritual things, what 
they are — How the natural man cannot know or receive spiritual things — 
Difference between understanding doctrines and receiving of things — A two- 
fold power and ability of mind with respect unto spiritual things explained 
— Reasons why a natural man cannot discern spiritual things— How and 
wherefore spiritual things are foolishness to natural men— Why natural men 
cannot receive the things of God— A double impotency in the mind of man 
by nature — 1 Cor. ii. 14 farther vindicated — Power of darkness 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 consideration ot 
the great work of the Spirit in the regeneration of the souls of God's 
€lect. 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 de- 
clare the truth in this matter, but also vindicate it from those ccr- 


ruptions wherewith some have endeavoured to debauch it, I shall 
premise a description lately given of it, with confidence enough, and 
it may be not without too much authority; and it is in these words: 
*' What is it to be born again, and to have a new spiritual life in 
Christ, but to become sincere proselytes to the gospel, to renounce 
all vicious 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 spiri- 
tual 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 reviling and reproaching 
other men; for he considers not that, by this description of it, he 
utterly excludes the baptismal 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 doc- 
trine 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 deserve all the scorn which this haughty person pours 
upon it by his swelling words of vanity will, to indifferent 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 Pela- 
gian 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 twofold 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 ne- 
gation concerning the state of regeneration in the Scripture, one of 
them may be used concerning every capable subject; eveiy man liv- 
ing 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 
' See Samuel Parker's " Defence and Continuation of the Ecclesiastical Polity." — Ed. 


have proved it in our way, that all men are born in an unregenerate 
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 condi- 
tion 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 nature 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 princi- 
pally insists on three things:^ — 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 depra- 
vation of the will and affections; which it expresseth several ways, as 
by weakness or impotency, and stuhhornness or obstinacy. 3. By 
the general name of death, extended to the condition of the whole 
soul. And these have various effects and consequences, as in our ex- 
planation of them will appear. 

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 other- 
wise and in other things never so wise, knowing, learned, and skil- 
ful, in spiritual 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, and it is ready to fall 
into a tumult upon its mention. They think it but an artifice which 
some weak men have got up, 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?" 
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, verse 41 ; so he plainly tells them, that notwithstand- 
ing all their boasting, " they had neither heard the voice of God at 
any time, nor seen his shape," chap. v. 37. 

Some at present talk much about the power of the intellectual 

1 " Dico vetcrcm Nativitatem atque adeo omnes vires naturce, qute naturali propaga- 
tione transfunduntur in sobolcm in scriptura damnari; malodictam cordis nostri iniagi- 
riationem, rationcm, os, manus, pedes peccatoet tenebris invohita in nobis omnia."— Johan. 
I'erus in Evang. J oil. cap. i. v. 2t!. " Fide pcrdita, spe relicta, intclligentia obccecata, vol- 
untate captiva, homo quo in se reparetur uou invenit."— De Vocat, Uent. lib. vii. cap. 3. 


faculties of our souls, as though they were neither debased, corrupted, 
impaired, nor depraved. All that disadvantage which is befallen our 
nature by the entrance of sin is but in " the disorder of the affections 
and the inferior sensitive parts of the soul, which are apt to tumul- 
tuate and rebel 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. Indeed, 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 reproaches, and scurrilous railings, it is no 
difficult undertaking so to demonstrate the depravation of the minds 
of men by nature, and their impotency thence to discern spiritual 
things in a spiritual manner,^ without a saving, effectual work of the 
Holy Spirit in their renovation, as that the proudest and most petu- 
lant of them shall not be able to return any thing of a solid answer 
thereunto. And herein we plead for nothing but the known doc- 
trine 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 saw great light; and to them which 
sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up." Of what 
kind this darkness 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 people men- 
tioned " 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 in dark- 
ness, 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 re- 
ceived 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 to 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 

1 " Si qnis per naturae vigorem evangelizanti predicationi nos consentire posse con- 
firmet absque illuminatione Spii-itus Saiicti; baeretico fallitur spiritu." — Cone. Arau- 
sic. ii. can. 7. 


turn them from darkness." Eph. v. 8, "Ye were sometimes darkness, 
but now are ye light in the Lord." What is the change and altera- 
tion made in the minds of men intended in this expression will 
afterward appear; but that a great change is proposed none can 
doubt. Col. i. 1 3, " Who hath delivered us from the power of dark- 
ness;" as also 1 Pet. ii. 9, " Who hath called us out of darkness into 
his marvellous light." And the darkness which is in these testi- 
monies ascribed unto persons in an unregenerate condition is by 
Paul compared to that which was at the beginning, before the crea- 
tion 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 darkness. In this state of things, God 
by an almighty act of his power created light : Verse 3, " God said, 
Let there be light : and there was light." And no otherwise is it in 
this new creation : " God, who commanded the light to shine out of 
darkness, shines in the hearts of men, to give them the light of 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 themselves 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 con- 
sist; and then, secondly, show its efficacy and power in and on the 
minds of men, and how they are corrupted by it. 

First, The term " 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 exter- 
nal 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, neither arose any from his place," Exod. 
X. 23 : for God, probably, to augment the terror of his judgment, re- 
strained 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: Ps. Ixix. 23, "Let their eyes be darkened, 
that they see not." So the angels smote the Sodomites with 
blindness, Gen. xix. 11 ; and Paul the sorcerer, Acts xiii. 11. How- 

CHAP, ill.] OF THE MIND BY SIN. 247 

ever tlie sun sTiineth, it is all one perpetual night unto them that are 

Answerable hereunto, spiriUial darkness may be referred unto 
two heads; for there is an objective darkness, a darkness 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," Ps. cxix. 105, and is 
said to " enlighten," Ps. 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, Ps. 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 imagina- 
tion about a saving revelation of the knowledge of God by the works 
of creation and providence, objected^ to the rational faculties of the 
minds of men. It is not my purpose here to divert unto the con- 
futation 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 gospel. 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 ac- 
cord ing to the covenant and law of their creation, yet the knowledge 
of him as a God in Christ pardoning sin and saving sinners is attain- 
able by the gospel only. But this I have proved and confirmed 

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 gos- 
pel 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 

' In the sense of "placed before," " presented." — En. 

* See treatise, " Communion with God," and his " Vindication" of it in reply to Dr 
Sherlock, vol. ii. — Ed. 


the Spirit of God. He gifteth, calls, and sends men unto the work 
of preaching it, Acts xiii. 2, 4, and disposeth them unto the places 
where they shall declare it, either by express revelation, as of old, 
chap. xvi. 6-10, or guides them by the secret operations of his pro- 
vidence. Thus the dispensation of the " light of the gospel,'" as to 
times, places, and persons, depends on his sovereign pleasure, Ps. 
cxlvii. 19, 20. Wherefore, although we are to take care and pray 
much about the continuance of the dispensation 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 immediate 
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 apprehend the work of the Holy Spirit in its 
removal by regeneration. 

This is that whereby the Scripture expresseth the natural depra- 
vation and corruption of the minds of men, with respect unto spiritual 
things and the duty that we owe to God, according to the tenor of 
the covenant. And two things must be premised to our considera- 
tion of it; as, — 

1, That I shall not treat of the depravation or corruption of the 
mind of man by the fall, with respect unto things natural, civile 
political, or moral, but merely with regard to things spiritual, hea- 
venly, and evangelical. It were easy to evince, not only by testi- 
monies of the Scripture, but by the experience of all mankind, built 
on reason and the observation of instances innumerable, that the 
whole rational soul of man since the fall, and by the entrance of sin, 
is weakened, impaired, vitiated, in all its faculties and all their ope- 
rations about their proper and natural objects. Neither is there any 
relief against these evils, with all those unavoidable perturbations 
wherewith it is possessed and actually disordered in all its working-, 
but by some secret and hidden 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 reasona 


and understandings, however exercised and improved, to discern, 
receive, understand, or believe savingly, spiritual things, or the mys- 
tery 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 im- 
paired by any natural defect, such as doth not attend the whole race 
of mankind, but is personal only and accidental; 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 skilful masters of the assemblies, with the greatest evi- 
dence and demonstration of the truth, it is not able of itself, spiritu- 
ally/ and savingly, to receive, understand, and assent unto them, with- 
out the especial aid and assistance and operation of the Holy Spirit.^ 

To evince this truth, we may consider, in one instance, the de- 
scription given us in the Scripture of the mind itself, and its ope- 
rations with respect unto spiritual things. This we have, Eph. iv. 
17, 18, " This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye 
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, because 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 nature; 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 
naturally among men. And their operations and effects are, for the 
substance of them, the same. 

Some, indeed, give such an account of this text as if the apostle had 
said, "Do not ye live after the manner of the heathens, in the vilenessof 
those practices, and in their idol-worship. That long course of sin hav- 
ing blinded their understandings, so that they see not that which by the 

1 " Quomodo nempe lux incassura circumfundit oculos csecos vel clauses, ita animalis 
homo non pel cipit ca quae suut Spiritus Dei." — 1 Cor. ii. 14; Bernard. Ser. i. sup. Cantic. 

2 " Si quis per naturae vigoicm bonum aliquod quod ad salutem pertinet vitse seter- 
nas, cogitarc ut expedit, aut eligere, sive salutari, id est, Evangelicae praedicationi con- 
seutire posse coutirujat, absque illuminatione et inspii'atione tjpiritus Saucti, qui dat 
omnibus suavitatem conscutieutlo et ciedendo verit.iti, haretico fallitur spiritu." — Cone. 
Arausic. ii. can. 7. 

" Ideo dictum est quia nullus hominum illuminatur nisi illo lumine veritatis quod 
Deus est; ne quisquam putaiet ab eo .'^e ilUuuihari, a quo aliquid audit ut discat, 
non dico si quenquam magnum hominem, sed ncc si angelum ei contijigat liabere 
doctorem. Adbibetur cniin sermo veritatis extrinsecus vocis ministerio corporali; 
verumtamen neque qui plautat est aliquid, necjue qui rigat, sed qui increuientum dat 
Deus. Audit quippe homo dicentcm vel hominem vel angelum, sed ut sentiat (.t 
cognoscat verum esse quod dicitur illo lumine mens ejus intus aspergitur, quod inter- 
num manet, quod etiam in tenebris lucet." — August, de Peccat. Meritis et Eemissione, 
lib. i. cap. 25. 


light of nature they are enabled to see, and, by that gross ignorance and 
obduration of heart, run into all impiety, [they] 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 practice 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 nature. (5.) That 
their alienation from the life of God consisted in running into that im- 
piety 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.) Al- 
though the apostle doth carry on his description of this state of the 
Gentiles unto the vile practices that ensued thereon, verse 19, yet it 
is their state by nature, with respect 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," verse 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. 
(5.) The life of God here is not that life which God and nature re- 
quire, but that life which God reveals in, requires, and communi- 
cates 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 supernatural things. 
And three heads he reduceth all things in man unto: — 1. He men- 
tions rhv vovv, the "mind;" 2. Tnv didmav, the "understanding;" and, 
3. T^jK xaf.8!av, 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 o vovg, the " mind." This is the rh r,ys/xovix6v, the lead- 
ing and ruling faculty of the soul. It is that in us which looketh 
out after proper objects for the will and affections to receive and 
embrace. Hereby we have our first aiaprehensions of all things, 


whence deductions are made to our practice. And hereunto is as- 
cribed /iara/orTjs, " vanity:" " They walk in the vanity of their mind." 
Things in the Scripture are said to be vain which are useless and fruit- 
less. Mara/OS, " vain," is from /idrriv, " to no purpose," Matt. xv. 9. 
Hence the apostle calls the idols of the Gentiles, and the rites used 
in their worship, fj^aTaia, "vain things," Acts xiv. 15. So he ex- 
presseth the Hebrew, ^1?'""'.?^n, Jonah ii. 8, "lying vanities," or n.^J; 
which is as much as avw^sXEj, a thing altogether useless and unpro- 
fitable, according to the description given of them, 1 Sam. xii. 21, 
nan ^nh-^2 'h^\ ^\ hfi^'^h n^■^? ^nriri,_« Vain things, which cannot 
profit nor deliver; 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 inclina- 
tion 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 pur- 
sues. And in actings of this nature a vain mind abounds; it multi- 
plies 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, (2.) It is unstable; for that which is 
vain is various, inconstant, 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, Pro v. vii. 11, 12. And this hath be- 
fallen 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 power 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 oae after another, as not answering what they pretend unto, 
yet they constantly arise under the same notion, and keep the whole 
soul under everlasting disappointments. And from hence it is that 
the mind cannot assent unto the common principles of religion in a 
due manner, which yet it cannot deny. Tliis 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 mind," Epli. iv. 23. By the "mind" the faculty itself is in- 
tended, the rational principle in us of apprehension, of thinking, dis- 
coursing, and assenting. This is renewed by grace, or brought into 
another haljitude and frame, by the implantation of a ruling, guid- 
ing, spiritual light in it. The " spirit" of the mind, is the inclination 
and disposition in the actings of it ; these also must be regulated by 

2. There is the Mvoia, the " understanding." This is the rh dia- 
xpiTixov, the directive, discerning, judging faculty of the soul, that 
leads it unto practice. It guides the soul in the choice of the no- 
tions which it receives by the mind. And this is more corrupt 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 understanding of men, but that receives 
it not, John i. 5. 

3. There is xapdia, the " heart." This in Scripture is rh rrpaxrixov 
in the soid, the practical principle of operation, and so includes the 
will also. It is the actual compHance 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 under- 
standing, used by the heart. Upon this, saith the apostle, there is 
vuipuGig, " blindness." It is not a mere ignorance or incomprehen- 
siveness of the notions of truth that is intended, but a stubborn re- 
sistance of light and conviction. An obstinate and obdurate hard- 
ness 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 conversion are said to be " darkness," Eph. v. 8. 
There may be degrees in a moral privation, but when it is ex- 
pressed 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 disposition remaining 
to receive saving knowledge, any more than there is a disposition in 
darkness itself to receive light. The mind, indeed, remains a capa- 
ble 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 rehgion 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 vexa- 
tion and disappointment which men finally meet withal in the pur- 
suit of 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, re- 
I-)roved, 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 demonstrated. 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 
nppearance and show among men, may be reduced unto two heads: — 
(1.) The vanity that they bring into the things that are, and that 
<';re either good in themselves and of some use, or at least iudifferent. 
So men do variously corrupt their buildings and habitations, their 
trading, their conversation, their power, their wealth, their relations. 
They join innumerable vanities with them, which render them loath- 
some and contemptible, 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 nourishers 
of vanity. Such, in religion, are carnal, pompous ceremonies, like 
those of the church of Rome, which have no end but to bring in 
some kind of provision for the satisfaction of vain minds; stage- 
players, mimics, with innumerable other things of the same nature, 
which are nothing but theatres for vanity to act itself upon. It were 
endless but to mention 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 befalls some men, that they delight 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 ad- 
mire 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 insisted 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 bottom 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 appearances 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 attain- 
ing any saving acquaintance with spiritual things. 

Again : It is one of the principal duties incumbent on us, to be ac- 
quainted with, and diligently to watch over, the remainders of this 
vanity in our own minds. The sinful distempers of our natures are 
not presently cui'ed at once, but the healing 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 be- 
lievers themselves: — (1.) An instability in holy duties, as medita- 
tion, prayer, and hearing of the w^ord. How ready is the mind to 
wander in them, and to give entertainment unto vain and fond ima- 
ginations, 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! 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 countenance, 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 
comply 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 ^yith vanity in their use, how ready are many for a compli- 
ance with the course of the world, 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; for 

CHAP, iil] of the mind BY SIK 255 

they all generally lead uoto 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 lie the prin- 
cipal 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 ; Avhich is communi- 
cated 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 mind's 
acting itself in vain, foolisii, unprofitable imaginations, so far at least 
[as] that vain thoughts may not lodge in us; [2.] By exercising it con- 
tinually unto holy spiritual meditations, "minding always the things 
that are above," Col. iii. 2 ; [3.] By a constant, conscientious hum- 
bling 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 

[Secondly], 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 farther 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; [or], 2. As to its 
power and actings, with respect unto spiritual, supernatural things: — 

1. As to its dispositions, it is (from the darkness described) per- 
verse 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 mind by wicked works," or by tlieir mind 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 intended 
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 living creatures is from him. Acts xvii. 28; Ps. 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 is 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 re- 
quireth of us, that we may please him here and come to the enjoy- 
ment 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., vii. (2.) It is that life which God worketh in 
ns, 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. iL 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., vii., whereof God is the supreme 
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 it 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 spi- 
ritual, heavenly life, which is called the " life of God." 

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 instruc- 
tion in and about the concernments of it. Hence are men dull and 
" slow of heart to believe," Luke xxiv. 25 ; vu6poi raTg axoaTg, 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 his people of old: 
" My people are foolish, they have not known me ; they are sottish 
children, and they have none understanding : they are wise to do evil, 
but to do good they have no knowledge," 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 convicrions, it 
be in part or wholly forced to forsake and give up this life, it will 
choose, magnify, and extol a moral 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 thoiights of this spiritual life, this " life of God," it cannot 
away witL 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 to- 
wards spiritual things, as it is corrupt and depraved. 

2. The power also of the mind with respect unto its actings to- 
wards spiritual things may be considered ; and this, in short, is 
none at all, in the sense which shall be explained immediately, Rora. 
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 [it] is not able, hath not a power of its 
own, spiritually and savingly, or in a due manner, to receive, embrace, 
and assent unto spiritual things, when proposed unto it in the dis- 
pensation and preaching of the gospel, unless it be renewed, enlight- 
ened, and acted by the Holy Ghost. 

This the apostle plainly asserts, 1 Cor. ii. 14, "The natural 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 

(1.) The subject spoken of is "^vx^^'k dv^puTog, " animalis homo,'' 
the "natural man," he who is a natural man. This epithet is in 
the Scripture opposed unto Ti/sy/iar/jco's, " spiritual," 1 Cor. xv. 44^ 
Jude 19, where -^v^ixoi are described by Tvsu/ia /ji^n £'%o!/r£5, 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 apostle, 1 Cor. xv. 45, 'Eysvsro 6 irpurog dv&puirog ' Ada,u> ilg -^^v^riv 
^uffav sg^aTog ' Ahafi iig "Ti/su^a ^wo7ro/oi/i/" — "The first Adam was made 
a living soul." Hence every man who hath no more but what is 
traduced from him is called -^vxi'^t-k, — he is a " living soul," as was 
the first Adam. And, " The last Adam was made a quickening spirit." 
Hence he that is of him, partaker of his nature, that derives from 
him, is irvi\)ij.ari%dg, a " spiritual man." The person, therefore, here 
spoken of, or -^vyjMg, is one that hath all that is or can be derived 
from the first Adam, one endowed with a " rational soul," and Avho 
hath the use and exercise of all its rational faculties. 

Some who look upon themselves almost so near to advancements 
as to countenance them in magisterial dictates and scornful reflec- 
tions 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 dictates of reason, is at all concerned in this assertion. But 
how is this proved? If we are not content with bare affirmations, 
we must at length be satisfied with railing and lying, and all sorts 
of reproaches. But the apostle in this chapter distributes all meD 

VOL. IIL 17 


living into mev/ManxoI and -vl/^^"""'? " spiritual" 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 mi(]dle state of men is absolutely destructive of the whole discom-se 
of the apostle as to its proper design. Besides, this of -^v-^ixog 
&v&pu'xog 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 Scripture terms not men peculiarly capti- 
vated unto brutish affections, avdpdj-zoug -^uxixovg, " natural men," but 
rather uXoya ^ua <pvGr/.d, 2 Pet. ii. 12, "natural brute beasts." And 
Austin gives us a better account of this expression, Tractat. 98, in 
Johan : — " Animalis homo, i. e., qui secundum hominem sapit, ani- 
malis dictus ab anima, carnalis a came, quia ex anima et came con- 
stat omnis homo, non percipit ea quae sunt Spiritus Dei, i. e., quid 
gratis? credentibus conferat crux Christi." And another: " Carnales 
dicimur, quando totos nos voluptatibus damus; spirituales, quando 
Spiritum Sanctum praevium sequimur ; id est, cum ipso sapimus in- 
struente, ipso ducimur auctore. Animales reor esse philosophos qui 
proprios cogitatus putant esse sapientiam, de quibus recte dicitur, 
animalis autem homo non recipit ea quse sunt Spiritus, stultitia 
quippe est ei," Hieronym. Comment, in Epist. ad Gal. cap. v. And 
another: Yv^ixog sanv 6 to Tav roTg XoyiSfioTg rJjg -•^v^rig didoiig, xot,i /xri 
vo//,l^uv avoi&sv Tivog BiTffdai' [Soridiiag, oTip idriv avoiag, xai yap i^ojxiv aur^v 
h Qilg ha [xavdavy], xai B's^yjrai to 'rap' auTov, ov^ ha savTrj aurriv apxi/v 
vofil^p. Ka! yap o'l o:pdaXfJi,oi TcaXoi xai ^prjgifi^oi, aXX' lav fSovXojvrai '/oipig 
<p(t)T<iC opav, ouSb avTO'jg to xdXXog ovivrjctiv, ouSs 7} oixiia lffx^^> aXXa xai 
vapaZXd'XTSt. "Ovtu tcivuv t] ■^\j')(ri idv jSovXridp ^upig 'ffvev/^aTog /SXste.'v, 
xai sij^wohm lavTrj yiviTai, Chrysost. in 1 Cor. ii. 1 5 ; — " 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 
leam and receive what he bestows, what is from him, and not sup- 
pose 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" 
(spiritual things) " without the Spirit of God, it doth but ensnare it- 
self." And it is a sottish supposition, that there is a sort of unre- 
generate, rational men who are not under the power of corrupt 
affections 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 
' To7s -i'vxfoTs, ex editione Parisiensi, 1733. — Ed. 


no more but so, that is, every one who is not "a spiritual man,'" is 
one wlio hath not received the Spirit of God, verses 11, 12, one that 
hath [only] the spirit of a man, enabling him to searcli and know the 
things of a man, or to attain wisdom in things natural, civil, or poli- 
tical. * 

(2.) There is in the words a supposition of the projjosal 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, verses 4-7. And these things are 
rd 7-oD Uvtv/zarog rov &sou, "the things of the Spirit of God;" which 
are variously expressed in this chapter. Verse 2, they are called 
*' Jesus Christ, and him crucified;" verse 7, the " wisdom of God in 
a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God hath ordained;" verse 
12, "the things that are freely given to us of God;" verse 16, 
" the mind of Christ ";" and sundry other ways to the same purpose. 
There are in the gospel, and belong to the preaching of it, 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 prin- 
ciples 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," verse 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 mere 
sovereign supernatural revelation, and that wholly ; things that " eye 
hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of 
man" to conceive, verse 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. 

(3.) That which is affirmed of the natural man with respect unto 
these spiritual things is doubly expressed : — [1.] By ou dsx^rai, — 
*' He receiveth them not;" [2.] By ou duvarai yvuimi, — " He cannot 
know them." In this double assertion, — 1st. A power of receiving 
spiritual things is denied : " He cannot know them ; he cannot receive 
them ;" as Rom. viii. 7, " 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. 2dly. A will of rejecting them is implied : 
" He receiveth them not;" and the reason hereof is, "For they are 
foolishness unto him." They are represented unto him under such a 
notion as that he will have nothing to do with them. 3dly. Actually 
(and that both because he cannot and because he will not), he re- 
ceives 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 admission in the sense to be explained. 

To clear and free this assertion from objections, it must be ob- 
served, — 

(4.) That it is not the mere literal sense of doctrines or propo- 
sitions of truth that is intended.^ For instance, "That Jesus Christ 
was crucified," mentioned by the apostle, 1 Cor. ii. 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 doc- 
trines of the gospel may be taught and declared in propositions and 
discourses, the sense and meaning whereof a natural man may under- 
stand. And in the due investigation of -this sense, and judging 
thereon concerning truth and falsehood, lies that use of reason in 
religious things which some would ignorantly confound with an 
ability of discerning spiritual things in themselves 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 dif- 
ference between the mind's receiving doctrines notionally, and its re- 
ceiving 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 ignorance, false- 
hood, and error. Hence, men unregenerate are said to " know the 
way of righteousness," 2 Pet. ii. 21, — that is, notionally and doctrin- 
ally; for really, saith our apostle, they cannot. Hereon "they pro- 
fess 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; Kom. ii. 23, 24. In the latter 
way they only receive spiritual things in whose minds they are so im- 
planted as to produce their real and proper effects, Eom. xii. 2; Eph. 
iv. 22-24. And there are two things required 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 agreeableness 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,— 

> _" Firmissime tene et nullatcnus dubites, posse quidem hominem, quem nee igno- 
rantia literarum, neque aliqua proliibet imbocillitas vel adversitas, verba sanctse legis 
ct evangelii sive Icgerc sive ex ore cujusquam prjedicatoris audire; sed divinis man- 
datis obedire neminem posse, nisi quem Deus gratia sua prsevenerit, ut quod audit 
corpore, etiam corde percipiat et accepta divinitus bona voluntate atque virtute, man- 
data Dei facere et velit et possit."— August, de Fide ad Petrum, cap. 84. 


namely, that we spiritually see and discern their antwerahleness unto 
the wisdom, goodness, and holiness of God; wherein lies the principal 
rest and satisfaction of them tliat I'eally 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 Aur 
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 Sphit of 
God to effect them, we cannot receive them as we ought; 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 natural man is not capable of receivmg the things 
of the Spirit of God. 

(2.) It must be observed that there is, or may be, a tiuofold capa- 
cit;i/ or ability oi receiving, knowing, or understanding 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 understandings to apprehend their sense, use, and importance, 
and [were we not] also meet subjects for the faith, grace, and obe- 
dience 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 great- 
ness 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 
natures, it would not become the wisdom of God to apply the means 
mentioned for effecting of that work. God is said, indeed, herein to 
" give us an understanding," 1 John v. 20 ; but the natural faculty 
of the understanding is not thereby intended, but only the renova- 
tion of it by grace, and the actual exercise of tliat grace in appre- 
hending spiritual things. There are two adjuncts of the commands 
of God: — Is^. That they are equal; 'idly. That they are easy, or 
not grievous. The former they have from the nature of the things 
commanded, and the fitness of our minds to receive such commands, 
Ezek. xviii. 25; the latter they have from 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 prescribed unto 
us in a way of duty, 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 faculties of our souls, are fit and meet, as to their na- 
tural capacity, for and unto such acts as wherein those duties do 
consist, it is freely 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 it- 
self answer the commands of God in a due manner, they deny the 
oorraptioh of our nature by the entrance of sin, and render the grace 
of Christ useless, as shall be demonstrated. 

[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 the 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 affections 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, between the natural capacity of the 
mind and the act of spiritual discerning there must be an interpo- 
sition of an effectual work of the Holy Ghost enabling it thereunto, 
1 John V. 20; 2 Cor. iv. 6. 

Of the assertion thus laid down and explained the apostle gives 
a double reason: the first taken from the nature of the things to be 
known, with respect unto the mind and understanding of a natural 
man; the other from the way or manner whereby alone sj^iritual 
things may be acceptably discerned: — 

(1.) The first reason, taken from the nature of the things tliem- 
selves, with respect unto the mind, is, that " they are foolishness." 
In themselves they are the " wisdom of God," 1 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 

' " Magnum aliquid rolagiani se scire putant quando dicunt, non jubcret Deus qiiod 
Bciat non posse ab homine licii ; quis hoc nesciat ? sed idco jubet aliqua quae nou possu- 
nius ut noverimus quid ab illo ptere debeamus. Ipsa cnim est quaj orando impetrat, 
quod lex iniperat." — Aujiust. de Grat. et Lib. Arbit. cap. 19. 

" Mandando iniposi^ibilia, non prtcvaricatores homines fecit, sed humiles; ut omne 
OS obstruatur; ct svibditus fiat omnis nnindus Deo; quia ex operibus Icgis non justi- 
ficatiliur omuls caio coram illo. Accipientes quippe mandatum, sentientes defectum, 
clujuabimus in coelum, et misercbitui- nostri Deus." — Bernard. Serm. 50, in Cantic. 

CHAP. 111.] OF THE MIND BY SIX. 263 

be "foolishness," the apostle contends not about it, but tells them, how- 
ever, it is the " foolishness of God," chap. i. 25 ; which he doth to cast 
contempt on all the wisdom of men, whereby the gospel 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 mys- 
tery," or full of deep, mysterious wisdom. But to the natural man 
they are " foolishness," 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 impertinent, 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 com- 
petition with it, or is on any other consideration not eligible or to 
be complied 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 the 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 
readily have received and embraced the mysteries of the gospel than 
those who were poor, illiterate, and came many degrees 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 ; it is embraced soonest 
by them that are wisest and know most. But here things fell out 
quite otherwise. They were the wise, the knowing, the rational, the 
learned men of the world, that made the greatest and longest opposi- 
tion 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 

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 pre- 
tended unto a life according to the dictates of reason, who first em- 
braced 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 known any thing of the entrance, growth, or progress of Christian 
rehgion in the wc)rld, 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 sp-'ritual 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 effectual work- 
ing 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 scoff at 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, 8, 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 whfen 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 (jf others! 

[4.] 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 tlie gospel may be reduced 
unto two heads, as was before observed: — \st. Such as consist in the 
confirmation, direction, and improvement of the moral principles and 
precepts of the law of nature. 2dhj. Such as flow immediately from 
the sovereign will and wisdom of God, being no way commimicated 
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, evangelical, super- 
natural graces and duties which are required in us with respect there- 
unto. The first sort of these things many wdll greatly praise and 


highly extol; and they will declare how consonant they are to rea- 
son, and what expressions suitable unto them may be found in the 
ancient philosophers. But it is evident that herein also they fall 
under a double inconvenience: for, — 1st. Mostly, they visibly trans- 
gress what they boast of as their rule, and that above others; for 
where shall we meet with any, at least with many, of this sort of 
men, who in any measure comply with that modesty, humility, 
meekness, patience, self-denial, abstinence, temperance, contempt of 
the world, love of mankind, charity, and purity, which the gospel re- 
quires under this head of duties? Pride, ambition, insatiable desires 
after earthly advantages and promotions, scoffing, scorn and contempt 
of others, vanity of converse, envy, wrath, revenge, railing, are none of 
the moral duties required in the gospel. And, — 2dly. 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 es- 
sential part of it is refused. And this, is the condition of many. The 
things which most properly belong to the mysteries of the gospel, or 
the unsearchable riches of the grace of God in Christ Jesus, are fool- 
ishness unto them; and the preaching of them is called "canting and 
folly." And some of these, although they go 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 manifesteth that 
the spiritual things of it are foolishness to the most ; for a,s such are 
they rejected by them, Isa. liii. 1-3. Suppose a man of good repu- 
tation for wisdom and sobriety should go unto others, and inform 
them, and that with earnestness, evidence of love to them, and care 
for them, with all kinds of motives to beget a belief of what he pro- 
poseth, that by such ways as he prescribeth they may exceedingly 
mcrease their substance in this world, until they exceed the wealth 
of kings, — a thing that the minds of men in their contrivances and 
designs are intent upon; — if in this case they folloAv not his advice, 
it can be for no other reason but because they judge the things pro- 
posed by him to be no way suited or expedient unto the ends pro- 
raised, — 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 recep- 
tion of them. The beauty and excellency of Christ, the inestimable 


privilege of divine adoption, the great and precious promises made 
unto them that do believe, the glory of the world to come, the ne- 
cessity and excellency 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 au- 
thority and wisdom; yet after all this, we see how few eventually do 
apply themselves with any industry to receive them, or at least actu- 
ally 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 con- 

(2.) As the instance foregoing compriseth the reasons 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 
he 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 spiritual things; for 
" none knoweth the things of God, but the Spirit of God, and he to 
whom he will reveal 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 themselves by 
' nature; and, [2.] (as he shows plentifully elsewhere). The light itself 
whereby alone spiritual things can be spiritually 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 twofold 
impotency in 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 objects unto its will and affections, and to 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 under- 
standing, whereby a natural man is absolutely unable, without an 
especial renovation by the Holy Ghost, to discern spiritual things in 


a saving manner.^ 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 unconformity 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 ensuing evil of sin and unbelief, it is both 
the punishment and cause of sin. And no man can plead his sin or 
fault 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 were originally in the faculties of our minds or understandings, 
and because it can never be taken away or cured but by an imme- 
diate communication of a new spiritual power and ability unto the 
mind itself by the Holy Ghost in its renovation, so curing the de- 
pravation of the faculty itself. And this is consistent with what was 
before declared [concerning] the natural power of the mind to receive 
spiritTial 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 impo- 
tency, 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 them, — and that because 
of various lusts, conniptions, 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 con- 
vinced of positive actings in their minds, rejecting the gospel from the 
love of self, sin, and the world. Thus our Saviour tells the Jews 
that " no man can come unto him, except the Father draw him," 
John vi. 44. Such is their natural impotency that they cannot. Nor 
is it to be cured but by an immediate divine instruction or illumi- 
nation ; as it is written, " They shall be all taught of God," verse 45. 
But this is not all ; he tells them elsewhere, " Ye will not come to 
me, that ye might have life," chap. v. 40, The present thing in ques- 
tion was not the power or impotency of their minds, but the obsti- 

• " In nullo gloriandum, quia nihil nostrum est." — Cypr. lib. iii. ad Quirin. 

" Fide perdita, spe relicta, intelligentia obctecata, voluntate captiva, homo qua in S9 
repuretur non invenit." — Prosp. de Vocat. Gent. lib. i. cap. 7. 

" Quicunque tribuit sibi bonum quod facit, etiamsi nihil videtur mali manibus ope- 
rari, jam cordis innocentiam perdidit, in quo se largitori bonorum prsetulit." — Hieron. 
ia Frov. cap. xvL 


nacy of their wills and affections, which men shall principally be 
judged upon at the last day; for "this is the condemnation, that 
lio-ht is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than 
light, because their deeds were evil," chap. iii. 1 9. Hence it follows, — 

That the will and affections being more corrupted than the un- 
derstanding, — as is evident from their opposition unto and defeating 
of its manifold convictions, — no man doth actually 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 im- 
peded 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 con- 
cerning 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 exposition 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 philoso- 
phers, etc., do absolutely despise, and so hearken not after the doc- 
trine 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 Ghost, miracles," etc. (1.) The natural 
man is here allowed to be the rational man, the learned philoso- 
pher, one walking by the light of human reason ; which complies not 
with their exception to this testimony 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 Hierom) to fix this interpretation unto that expres- 
sion. 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.) Ol Bkx^ra, is para- 
phrased by, "Doth absolutely despise;" which neither tlie word here, 
nor elsewhere, nor its disposal in the present connection, will allow 
of or give countenance 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 receive the things of God, 


and their hatred of them, or opposition 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 spiri- 
tual mysteries therein revealed. (4.) This preaching of the gos- 
pel unto them was accompanied with and managed by those evi- 
dences mentioned, — namely, the testimonies of the prophecies of 
Scripture, miracles, and the like, — in the same way and manner, and 
unto the same degree, as it was towards them by whom it was re- 
ceived and believed. In the outward means of revelation and its 
proposition there was no difference. (5.) The proper meaning of 
ou ds^srai, "receiveth not," is given us in the ensuing reason and ex- 
planation of it: Ou hvvarai yvMvat, "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, " Because they are 
spiritually discerned." And to wrest this unto the outward means 
of revelation, which is directly designed to express the internal man- 
ner of the mind's reception of things revealed, is to wrest the Scrip- 
ture at pleasure. How much better doth the description given by 
Chrysostom of a natural and spiritual man give light unto and de- 
termine the sense of this place : '^-j^ixhi; av&pwrog, 6 dia aapxa ^Zv, 
xa! /i^'XCti (puTiffdiig rhv vovv dia TiMibixarog, uX},a, fxoni^v t'/jV i/xfjurov zai 
dvdpwTrlvrjv ahvitsiv 'i'X^(>iv, rjv tuv arrdvruv -^vy^aTg s^CdXXsi 6 Ari/jLiovpyog' — 
"A natural man is he who lives in or by the fiesh, and hath not his 
mind as yet enlightened by the Spirit, but only hath that inbred 
human understanding which the Creator hath endued the minds of 
all men with." And, 'O WBVfiarr/.hgj h dice UvivfMa t^cov, (pctiTiG&ilg tov 
vovv did 'TTvsufLarog, ou /JjOVT^v rriv 'iiJLfuTOV xa! dvdpwrrlvrjV avisffiv £%wi/, dXXd 
fiaXXov TYiv ^apiadiTffav 'XViV/xarixriv, 7]v ruv vicrcov '^■j')(a7g SfiQdAXn rh 
'Ayiov Uvsv/xa' — "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 understanding, bestowed 
on him graciously, which the Holy Ghost endues the minds of be- 
lievers withal." But we proceed. 

3. Having cleared the impotency to discern spiritual things spiri- 
tually 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 notwithstanding all other notions and disputes in 
this matter, for the most part compliant with the inclinations and 


affections of corrupted nature, by them must our judgments be de- 
termined, 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 impotency 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-Pelagians did openly grant, — but 
also that all power and ability for it, properly so called, is from grace 

(1.) Col. I 18, We are said to be delivered Ix rjj? s^ovsiag roZ 
sxoToug, from "the power of darkness." The word signifies such a 
power as consists in authority or rule, that bears sway, and com- 
mands 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. ] 1 ; 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 darkness, with what is 
contributed thereunto by Satan and the w^orld. This the prophet 
speaks of, Isa. Ix. 2, " Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and 
gross darkness the people: but the LoRD shall arise upon thee/"" 
Such a darkness it is, as nothing 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 increasing this blindness or dark- 
ness 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 
>vho sinned are "reserved unto judgment" under "chains of darkness," 
2 Pet. ii. 4. It is plain that there is an allusion in the words unto 
the dealing of men with stubborn and heinous malefactors. Thev do 


not presently execute them upon their offences, nor when they are 
first apprehended ; they must be kept unto a solemn day of trial and 
judgment. But yet, to secure them that they make no escape, they are 
bound with chains which they c'annot deliver themselves from. Thus 
God deals with fallen angels; 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 seem- 
ing liberty and at their pleasure, yet are they under such chains as 
shall securely hold them unto the great day of their judgment and 
execution. 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 subducting themselves from under 
it. But whence is it that, in all their wisdom, experience, and the 
long-continued prospect which they have had of their future eternal 
misery, none of them ever have attempted, nor 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 dark- 
ness, in the chains whereof they are so bound that although they 
believe their own everlasting ruin, and tremble at the vengeance of 
God therein, yet they cannot but continue in their course of mis- 
chief, disobedience, and rebellion. And although natural men are 
not under the same obdurateness 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 
f trther manifested by the consideration of the instances wherein it 
puts forth its efficacy in them : — 

(1.) It fills the mind with enmity against God, and all the 
things of God: Col. i. 21, "Ye were enemies in your mind." Rom. 
viii. 7, "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not sub- 
ject to the law of God, neither indeed can 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 pecu- 
liar saving manner, as is at large declared in the whole discourse of 
tlie apostle, verses 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, 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 and 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 Lim, lie 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 infinite goodness seem incom- 
patible unto our human affections ; but they arise from this dark- 
ness, Avhich is the coiTuption 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 advan- 
tages, 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 against 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 irreconcilable? 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 good- 
ness of God unto the minds of men, not only as revealed 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 enmit}^ against him;" 
and in enmity there is neither disposition nor inclination to love. In 
such persons there can be no more true love of God than is consis- 
tent 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 con- 
cerning 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 fiilse notions of God which this darkness suggests 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 ' 
Godliead," Rom. i. 20, yet he was still absolutely unto them "the un- 
known God/' Acts xvii. 23, whom they " ignorantly worshipped/'— 


that is, tliey directed some worship to him in the dedication of their 
altars, but knew him not: "Ov dyvoouvrss ilxaZiTrs. And that they en- 
tertained all of them false notions of God is fi'om hence evident, that 
none of them either, by virtue of their knowledge of him, did free 
themselves 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, E.om. 
i. 20, 21. The issue of their disquisitions after the nature of God 
was, that " they glorified him not, but became vain in their imagina- 
tions, and their foolish hearts were darkened." Upon the common 
principles of the first Being and the chiefest good, their fancy or ima- 
ginations 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 imagina- 
tions. And hence it was that those that had the most raised ap- 
prehensions 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 un- 
controllable evidence this is that the love of divine goodness, which 
some do fancy in persons destitute of supernatural 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 effectually prevailed on by victori- 
ous grace, either closely or openly, it exerts itself .And however 
they may be doctrinally instructed 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 dis- 
pleased 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 themselves, Ps. 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 palli- 
ated 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, 

VOL III. 18 


— the height of the sin of the most gross idolaters, Rom. i. 23, Ps. 
cvi. 20, — so it is a sin of a higher provocation to conceive him so far 
Hke 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 Mic. vi. 6, 7; 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 indeed can 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 igno- 
rance 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, 21. Bat 
I must not too long insist on particulars, although in these days, 
^\^erein some are so apt to boast in proud swelling words of vanity 
concerning the power and sufficiency of the mind, even with respect 
imto religion and spiritual things, it cannot be unseasonable to de- 
clare what is the judgment of the Holy Ghost, plainly expressed in the 
Scriptures, in this matter; and one testimony thereof will be of more 
weight with the disciples of Jesus Chiist than a thousand declama- 
tions to the contrary. 

(2.) This darkness fills the mind with wills or perverse lusts that 
are directly contrary to the will of God, Eph. ii. 3. There are Ss- 
>.jj/iara Biavoiuv, the wills or " lusts of the mind," — that is, the habi- 
tual 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. 1 8. As unto spiritual things, it is "born of the flesh," 
and "is flesh." It likes, savours, approves of nothing but what is car- 
nal, sensual, and vain. Nothing is suited unto it but what is eithei 
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 imagina- 
tions 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 there- 


by heightened and confirmed, and this multiplies imaginations of its 
own kind, whereby men " inflame themselves/' Isa. Ivii. 5, waxing 
worse and worse. And the particular bent of these imaginations 
doth answer the predominancy of any especial lust in the heart or 

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 affections, they argue not an 
impotency in the mind to discern and receive spiritual things, but, 
notwithstanding these enormities of some, the faculty of the mind is 
still endued with a power of discerning, judging, and believing spiri- 
tual things in a due manner." 

Ans. 1. We do not now discourse concerning the weakness and 
disability of the mind in and about these things, which is as it were 
a natural imjwtency, like blindness in the eyes, which hath been 
both explained and confirmed before; but it \s, o. 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 deprava- 
tion of the mind in the state of nature, that the Scripture calls " dark- 
ness" or "blindness," which we intend. 

2. Our present testimonies have sufficiently confirmed that all the 
instances mentioned do proceed from the depravation 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 sav- 
ing 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 him- 
self; for, also, — 

(3.) It fills the mind with prejudices against spiritual things, as 
proposed unto it in the gospel; and from these prejudices it hath 
neither light nor power to extricate itself No small part of its de- 
pravation consists in its readiness to embrace them, and pertinacious 
adlierence unto them. Some few of these prejudices may be in- 
stanced : — 

[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 various ways, do seek after. This is 
the scent and chase which they so eagerly pursue, in different tracks 
and paths innumerable. 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 pro- 
posals of the gospel, they suppose themselves in the way at least 
imto, by those little tastes of satisfaction unto their lusts which they 
have obtained in the ways of the world. And these hopeful begin- 
nings they will not forego: Isa. Ivii. 10, "Thou art wearied in the 
greatness of thy way; yet saidst thou not, There is no hope: thou 
liast found the life of thine hand; therefore thou wast not grieved." 
They are ready ofttimes to faint in the pursuit of their lusts, because 
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 vexation 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 expectation 
they have, which preserves their hope alive, and makes them unwill- 
ing 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 poAver, 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, mysterious things of the gospel, are pro- 
posed unto them. At first view they judge that these things will 
not assist them in the pursuit or improvement of their carnal satis- 
factions. 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. 1-5; Tit. ii. 11, 12. 

There are but two things wherein men seeking after contentment 
and satisfaction are concerned :— first, the objects of their lusts or 
desires, and then those lusts and desires themselves. The former 
may be considered in their own nature, as 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 re- 
lation which is between these desires and their objects is broken and 
dissolved. The gospel leaves men, unless upon extraordinary occa- 
sions, 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 spiri- 
tual, unseen, eternal things. This secretly alienates the carnal mind, 
and a prejudice is raised against it, as that which would deprive the 
soul of all its present satisfactions, and offer nothing in the room of 
them that is suitable to any of its desires or affections ; for, by reason 
of the darkness that it is under the power of, it can neither discern 
the excellency of the spiritual 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 inconsistent 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 reasonable- 
ness and excellency in gospel truths as that the mind of a natural 
man will discern such a suitableness in them unto itself, 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 
are in carnal minds against the spiritual things of the gospel, as to 
their life and power, than those who most pride and please them- 
selves 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 de- 
spise it, and all the parts of its declaration 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, spiritual 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 demonstrate the truth hereof is the de- 
sign of the apostle Paul, 1 Cor. i. ii.: for he directly affirms that tlie 
doctrine of the gospel is the wisdom of God in a mystery; that this 
wisdom cannot be discerned nor understood by the wise and learned 
men of the world, who have not received the Spirit of Ciirist, and, 


therefore, that the things of it are weakness and foolishness unto 
them. And that which is foolish is to be despised, yea, folly is the 
only object of contempt. And hence we see that some, with the 
greatest pride, scorn, and contempt imaginable, do despise the purity, 
simplicity, and whole mystery of the gospel, who yet profess they 
believe it. But to clear the whole nature of this prejudice, some few 
things may be distinctly observed: — 

There are two sorts of things declared in the gospel: — Ist Such 
as are absolutely its own, that are proper and peculiar unto it, — 
such as have no footsteps in the law or in the light of nature, but 
are of 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 liis incarnation, of his offices and whole mediation, of 
the dispensation of the Spirit, and our participation thereof, and our 
union with Christ thereby, our adoption, justification, and effectual 
sauctification, 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 committed, puts that eminency upon them, that, in com- 
parison, 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. 
^dly. There are such things declared and enjoined in the gospel as 
have their foundation in the law and light of nature. Such are all 
the moral duties which are taught therein. And two things may be 
observed concerning them : — {1st.) That they are in some measure 
known unto men aliunde from other principles. The inl^red concre- 
ated light of nature doth, though obscurely, teach and confirm them. 
So the apostle, speaking of mankind in general, saith, Ti yvuarhv rot 
Giov (pavipCv igTiv sv avroTg, 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 actions 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. (2dlg.) There is on all men an obligation unto 
obedience answerable to their light concerning these things. The 
same law and light which discovereth 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:— (Is^.) It directs us unto a right performance of these things, 
from a right principle, by a right rule, and to a right end and pur- 
pose; 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, (^dly?) By a communication of that Spirit 
which is annexed imto 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 constant entrance of his preach- 
ing, 1 Cor. XV. 8. It reveals its own mysteries, to lay them as the 
foundation of faith and obedience. It inlays them in the mind, and 
thereby conforms 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 foundation 
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 declares the mysteries of faith that are peculiar to 
the gospel, and then descends unto those moral duties which are 
regulated thereby. 

But the j^'T'&judice we mentioned inverts the order of these things. 
Those who are under the power of it, when, on various accounts, they 
give admittance unto the gospel in general, yet 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 acquaint- 
ance 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 na- 
ture and covenant of works, whereas the gospel allows them to be 
only necessary superstructions on the foundation. But resolving to 
give unto moral duties the pre-eminence in their minds, they con- 
sider afterward the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, with one or other 
of these effects; for, first, Some in a manner wholly despise them, 
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 morality, which they pretend to em- 
brace; and, to acquit themselves of the trouble of a search into them, 
they reject them as unintelligible or unnecessary. Or, secondly, They 
will, by forced interpretations, enervating the spirit and perverting 
the mystery of them, square and fit them to their own low and car- 
nal apprehensions. They would reduce the gospel and all the mys- 
teries of it to their own light, as some; to reason, as others; to philo- 
sophy, as the rest; — and let them who comply not with their weak 
and carnal notions of things expect all the contemptuous reproaches 
which the proud pretenders unto science and wisdom of old cast upon 


the apostles and first preachers of tlie 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 condemned. So God spake of Ephraim, 
Hos. viii. 12, "I have written to him the great things of my law, 
but they were counted as a, strange thing." The things intended were 
^n"niJl ^"iQ Keri] l?t!, — the "great, manifold, various things of the 
law." That which the law was then unto that people, such is the gos- 
pel now unto us. The " torah " was the entire means of God's com- 
municating his mind and will unto them, as his whole counsel is re- 
vealed unto us by the gospel. These things he wrote unto them, or 
made them in themselves and their revelation plain and perspicuous. 
But when all was done, they were esteemed by them "^l"^^-'?, 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 mys- 
tery 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 powerfully, and, as 
unto any light or strength of their own, invincibly, kept off from re- 
ceiving of spiritual things in a spiritual manner. 

4. Again; the power and efficacy of this darkness in and upon the 
souls of unregenerate men will be farther evidenced by the consi- 
deration 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 intellectual virtues or perfections of the mind, 
and that in every kind whatever, whether in things natural, moral, 
or spiritual. The darkness whereof w^e treat is the privation of spi- 
ritual light, or the want of it; and therefore are they opposed unto 
one another: " Ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye 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 maybe considered t\vo ways: — (1.) As it is theore- 
tical or contemplative, discerning and judging of things proposed 
unto it. So it is its office to find out, consider, discern, and appre- 
hend the truth of things. In the case before 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 proposal. This, as we have manifested, by reason of its depra- 


vation, it neither doth nor is able to do, John i. 5; 1 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 
wkl, as to the specification of its acts, do necessarily follow the deter- 
mination 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 presented 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 affec- 
tions 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, thy whole body shall be full of 
light. But if thine eye be evil, thy Avhole body shall be full of dark- 
ness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is 
that darkness!" 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, be- 
cause 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 pro- 
posed as those which precede any gracious actings in the will, heart, 
and life; as we shall show 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 reprobate 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. 28-82. 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 corrupted, 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 in- 
ternal, 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: legal; metaphorical — Life natural, what it is, and wherein it consists 
— Death natural, with its necessary consequents — The supernatural life of 
Adam in innocency, in its principle, acts, and power — Differences hetween 
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 
perihheth merely for want of power — No vital acts in an state 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. 

Another description that the Scripture gives of unregenerate 
men, as to their state and condition, is, that they are spiritually 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 dark- 
ness and blindness before described doth their minds and understand- 
ings. There is a spiritual life whereby men live unto God ; this they 
being strangers unto and alienated from, are spiritually dead. And 
this the Scripture declares concerning all unregenerate persons, partly 
in direct words, and partly in other assertions of the same import- 
ance. Of the first sort the testimonies are many and express: Eph. 
ii. 1, "Ye were dead in trespasses and sins;" Verse 5, "When we 
were dead in sins;" Col. ii. 13, "And ye 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 ;" Verse 12, "Death passed upon 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. G3. 


This death that unregenerate persons are under is twofold: — 

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 that thou 
eatest thereof thou shalt die the death/' Gen. ii. 1 7. Upon this sen- 
tence Adam and all his posterity became dead in law, morally dead, or 
obnoxious imto death penally, and adjudged unto it. This death is 
intended in some of the places before mentioned; as Rom. v. ]2, 
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 obnoxi- 
ous unto death, or dead on that account. But this is not the death 
which I intend, neither are Ave delivered from it by regeneration, 
but by justification, Rom. viii. 1. 

2. There is in them a spiritual death, called so metaphorically, 
from the analogy and proportion that it bears unto death natitral. 
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 elficacy of the Holy Ghost. Where- 
fore, to declare this aright, we must- consider the nature of life and 
death natural, in allusion whereunto the spiritual estate of unregene- 
rate men is thus described. 

Life in general, or the life of a living creature, is " Actus vivifi- 
cantis in vivificatum^ per unionem utriusque;" — " The act of a quick- 
ening principle on a subject to be quickened, by virtue of their union." 
And three things are to be considered in it: — 

1. The jprinciple of life itself; and this in man is the rational, 
living soul, called Ci"n r\tpm ; Gen. iL 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 the human 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 imme- 
diately infuseth into it the "living soul," the "breath of life." 

2. There is the " actus primus," or the quickening act of this prin- 
ciple on the principle quickened, in and by virtue of union. Hereby 
the whole man becomes n*n K'D3^ — a " living soul;" -\>vyjyM livOfc^'Tros, 

1 Vivificandum ? according to the translation. — Ed. 


— 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 rational soul. Those 
of the first sort are natural and necessary, as are all the actings and 
energies of the senses, and of the locomotive faculty, as also what be- 
longs unto the receiving and improving of nutriment. These are acts 
of life, whence the psalmist proves idols to be dead thmgs from the 
want of them ; so far are they from having a divine life, as that they 
have no life at all, Ps. cxv. 4-7. These are acts of life as life, inse- 
parable 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 quicken- 
ing principle. Such are all the elicit^ and imperate^ acts of our un- 
derstandings 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 natu7-al doth consist; and three 
things may be considered in it: — 1. The separation 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 inep- 
titude 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 communicated 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 mu«t 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 re- 
quires, 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 

I Elicit, brought into actual existence. 

» Jmperate, done by the direction of the mind. Ed. 


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 nature. 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 repre- 
sented. Gen. i. 26, 27. In this image he was created, or it was con- 
created with him, as a perfection due to his nature in the condition 
v/herein he was made. This gave him an habitual disposition unto 
all duties of that obedience that was required of him; it was the 
rectitude of all the faculties of his soul with respect unto his super- 
natural end, Eccles. vii. 29. 

(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 
suitably unto the light in his mind, unto the righteousness and holi- 
ness in his will and affections, 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 per- 
formance of any duty, or of all, that the covenant required. 

And in these three [things] 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 sup- 
plies its absence with respect unto the end of living unto God accord- 
ing 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 before 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 with- 
out 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. Ac- 
tual excitations, by influence of power from God, it should have had; 
for no principle of operation can subsist in an independence of God, 
nor apply itself unto operation without his concurrence. But in the 
life whereunto we are renewed by Jesus Christ, the fountain and 
principle 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;" and our 
life (as to the spring and fountain of it) is hid with him in God, Col. 
iii. 3, 4; for he quick eneth us by his Spirit, Rom. viii. 11. And our 
spiritual life, as in us, consists in the vital actings of this Spirit of his 
in us; for "without him we can do nothing," John xv. 5. By virtue 
hereof we " walk in newness of life," Rom. vi. 4. We live, there- 
fore, 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 actmgs 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 twofold spiritual life, or ability of liv- 
ing unto God, that which we had in A dam 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 spiritually 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 hfe 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 here- 
unto they are dead only negatively,— they have it not; but with re- 
spect unto the life we had in Adam, they are dead privatively, — they 
have lost that power of living unto God which they had. 


From what hatli been discoursed, we may discover the nature of 
this spiritual death, under the power whereof all unregenerate per- 
sons do abide: for there are three things in it: 1. K privation of a 
principle of spiritual life enabling us to live unto God ; 2. A nega- 
tion of al] 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 neo^a- 
tion of that which we have by Christ, or a power of living unto God 
according to the tenor of the covenant of grace. Those, therefore, 
who are thus dead have no principle or first power of living unto 
God, or for the performance 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 de- 
parted from it. Why else are they said to be dead ? 

It is objected " That there is a wide difference between death natu- 
ral 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 
understand ingj will, and affections; and by these are men enabled 
to perform their duty unto God, and yield the obedience required of 

Ans. 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 deprived 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 essential 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 quick- 
ening 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 affections, as deprived of or not quipkened 
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 impotency 
unto all spiritual things to be performed in a spiritual manner, in all 
persons not horn again hy the Spirit; because they are spiritually 
dead. Whatever they can do, or however 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: for it is not subject to 
the law of God, neither indeed can be," Rom. viii. 7. " So then they 
that are in the flesh cannot please God," verse 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 pre- 
judices and [by] 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 
])0wer; secondly. That where it is, there is a disability of doing any 
thing that should please God: which is the sum of what we conteud 
for, and which men may with as little a disparagement 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 to him except 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. S3. And this disability as to good is 
also compared by the proj)het unto such effects as lie under a na- 
tural impossibility of accomplishment, Jer. xiii. 23. We contend 
not about expressions. This is that which the Scripture abundantly 
iustructeth 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 
performance of it, accompanied with all the motives which are meet 
and suited to prevail with them thereunto,— [able] 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, with- 
out 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 supposition hereof renders all 


exhortations, commands, promises, and threatenings, — wliich com- 
prise 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 hidicrous, and that because of their im- 
potency 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 

Ans. 1. There is nothing, in the highest wisdom, required in the 
application of any means to the producing of an effect, but that in 
their own nature they are suited thereunto, and that the subject to 
be wrought upon by them is capable of being affected according as 
their nature requires.^ And thus exhortations, with promises and 
threatenings, are in their kind, as moral instruments, suited and 
proper to produce 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 natural, remote, passive 'power to yield obedience unto 
God, which yet can never actually put forth itself without the effec- 
tual working of the grace of God, not only enabling but working in 
them to luill 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 obe- 
dience, and threatenings annexed unto a supposition of disobedience, 
we have power in and of ourselves to do, or we are of ourselves able 
to do, and you quite evacuate the grace of God, or at least make it 

' ■" Magniim aliquid Pelagiani se scire putant quando dicunt, non juberet Deus 
quod scit non posse ab homine fieri, quis hoc nesciat ? sed ideo jubet aliqua qu£B non 
J ossumus ut noverimus quid ab illo petere debeamus. Ipsa enim est fides quEe orando 
impetrat, quod lex imperat.". — August, de Grat. et Lib. Arbit. cap. xvi. 

"0 homo cognosce in praeceptione quid debeas habere; in corruptione cognosce tuo 
to vitio non habere; in oratione cognosce unde accipias quod vis habere." — Idem, de 
Corrupt, et Grat. cap. iii. 

" Mandando impossibilia, non prevaricatores homines fecit, sed humiles; ut omne os 
obstruatur ; et subditus fiat omnis mundus Deo. Accipientes nempe mandatum, sen- 
tieutes defectum, clamabimus in caelum." — Bernard. Serra. L. in Cant. 

" Quamvis dicamus Dei donum esse obedientiam, tamen homines exhortamur ad 
earn : sed illis qui veritatis cxhoi-tationem obedicnter audiunt, ipsum donum Dei datum 
est, hoc est, obedienter audire; illis autem qui non sic audiunt, non est datum.' 
August, de Dono Perseverant. cap.xiv. 

VOL. in. 19 


only useful for the more easy discharge of our duty, not necessary 
unto the very being of duty itself; which is the Pelagianism anathe- 
matized by so many councils of old. But in the church it hath 
hitherto been believed that the command directs our duty, but the 
promise gives strength for the performance of it. 

S. God is pleased to make these exhortations and promises to be 
".vehicula gratise," — the means of communicating spiritual life and 
strength unto men; and he hath appointed them unto this end, be- 
cause, considering the moral and intellectual 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 
thereby, James i. 18; 1 Pet. i. 23. And this, in their dispensation 
under the covenant of grace, is their proper end. God may, there- 
fore, wisely make use of them, and command them to be used to- 
wards men, notwithstanding all their own disability savingly to com- 
ply 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 de- 
void of a principle of spiritual life, of all power to live unto God, — 
that is, to repent, believe, and yield obedience, — is it righteous that 
they should perish eternally merely for their disability, or their not 
doing that which they are not able to do? This would.be to re- 
quire brick and to give no straw, yea, to require much where no- 
thing is given. But the Scripture everywhere chargeth the destruc- 
tion of men upon their wilful sin, not their weakness or disabilit}^" 

Ans. 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 nature in our first parents, 
all whose consequents are our sin and our misery, Rom. v. 1 2. 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 otherwise ; 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 poiuer in sundry things, as to some degrees and mea- 
sures of them, to comply with his mind and will, which they volun- 
tarily neglect ; and this of itself is sufficient to bear the charge of 
their eternal ruin. But, — 

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 evangelical faith or obedience, but they can and do 


put forth a fret positive act of their wills in the rejection of i^, 
either directly or interpretatively, in preferring somewhat else bo • 
fore it. As " they cannot come to Christ except the Father draw 
them/' so " they will not come that they may have life;" wherefoirt 
their destruction is just and of themselves. 

This is the description which the Scripture giveth us concerning'' 
the power, ability, or disability, of men in the state of nature, as untvi 
the performance of spiritual things. By some it is traduced as f}\ • 
natical and senseless; which the Lord Christ must answer for, mlj 
we, for we do nothing but plainly represent what he hath expresse. I 
in his word ; and if it be " foolishness " unto any, the day will detei • 
mine where the blame must lie. 

Secondly, There is in this death an actual cessation of all y[U\ I 
acts. From this defect of power, or the want of a principle of spiri • 
tual life, it is that men in the state of nature can perform no vitjil 
act of spiritual obedience, — nothing that is spiritually good, or sa\ • 
ing, or acceptable with God, according to the tenor of the new covi^- 
nant; which we shall, in the second place, a little explain. 

The whole course of our obedience to God in Christ is the "U'e 
of God," Eph. iv. 18, — that life which is from him in a peculi t 
manner, whereof he is the especial author, and whereby we live un'o 
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 whi h 
guides and directs us how to live to God. Hence all the duties <f 
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 dei'd 
works. Where persons are dead in sin, their works are *' dead work« '' 
They are so all of them, either in their own nature, or with respect 
unto them by whom they are performed, Heb. ix. 14. They o e 
dead works because they proceed not from a principle of life, are v • l- 
profitable as dead things, Eph. v 11, and end in death etern-il, 
James i. 15. 

We may, then, consider how this spiritual life, which enableth as 
unto these vital acts, is derived and communicated unto us: — 

1. The original spring and fountain of this life is with God: Vs. 
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 hejiv'e 
our life is said to be "hid with Christ in God," Col. iii. 3; that is, 
as to its internal 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, whate^o^ 
it be, is in him efficiently and eminently, and in them it is purely 
derivative. Wherefore, — 


2. Our spiritual life, as unto the especial nature of it, is specifi- 
cated and discerned from a life of any other kind, in that the ful- 
oiess 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 communicated unto us from his fulness 
thereof, whence he quick eneth whom he please th. 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 
nothing but as we are acted by virtue and power from him, 1 Cor. 
XV. 10. 

8. The fountain of this life being in God, and the fulness of it 
being laid up in Christ for us, he communicates the power and prin- 
ciple of it unto us by the Holy Ghost, Kom. 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 the 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 fife must precede all vital acts. From this principle of life, thus 
derived and conveyed 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 sins," 
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 infused 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 ourselves so much as to think a 
good thought, or to do any thing as we ought, any power, any ability 
that is our own, or in us by nature, however externally excited and 
guided by motives, directions, reasons, encouragements, of what sort 
soever, to believe or obey the gospel savingly in any one instance, is to 
overthrow the gospel and the faith of the catholic church in all ages. 

But it may be objected, "That whereas many unregenerate per- 
sons 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 Avorst things they do in this world, which are 
but sins; and if so, unto what end should they take pains about 


tliem? 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 no- 
thing else. Why do the dispensers of the gospel press any duties on 
such as they know to be in that estate? What advantage sliall 
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 purpose?'' 

Ans. 1. It must be granted that all the duties of such persons 
are in some sense sins. It was the saying of Austin,^ that the vir- 
tues of unbelievers are splendida peccata. This some are now dis- 
pleased 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 neither of these is 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 
defiled and unbelieving, — that is, all unsanctified persons, not purified 
by the Spirit of grace, — all things are unclean, because their con- 
sciences and minds are defiled. Tit. i. 15. So their praying is said to 
be an " abomination," and their ploughing " sin." It doth not, there- 
fore, appear what is otherwise in them or to them. But as there are 
good duties which have sin adhering to them, Isa. Ixiv. 6, so there 
are sins which have good in them ; for bonum oritur ex integris, 
malum ex quocunque defectu. Such are the duties of men unre- 
generate. 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 per- 
formed, 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. 

1 " Manifcstissime patet in impiorum animis nullam habitare virtutem ; sed omnia 
opera eorum immiuida esse atque poUuta, habentium sapientiam non spiritualem scd 
animalem, non coelestem sod terrenam." — Prosper, ad Collat. cap. xiii. 
" Orane cteiiim probitatis opus nisi semine vcras 
Exoritur fidei, peccatum est, inque reatum 
Vertitur, et sterilis cuinulat sibi gloria poenam." 

Prosper, dc Ingiutis. cap. xvi. 407-409. 
"Mvltalaxidabilia atque miranda possunt in homine i-eperiri, quaj sine charitatis ine- 
dullis habent quideui pietatis similitudinem, sed non habcnt veritatem." — Idem, ad 
Rutin, de Lib. Arbit. 


such a poisonous ingredient as vitiates the whole, Isa. i. 11-15; 
Hos. i, 4. (2.) In integrity, according unto present light and con- 
viction; which, fertile substance of them, are approved. And no 
man is to be exhorted to do any thing in hypocrisy: see Matt. 
X. 26. And on this account also, that the duties themselves are ac- 
ceptable, men may be pressed to them. But, — 

3. It must be granted that the same duty, for the substance of it 
in general, and performed according to the same rule as to the out- 
ward 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 another. 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 re- 
jected, as their persons are: for altliough the acceptation of our 
persons be a necessary condition for the acceptation of our duties, as 
God first had respect unto Abel, and then unto his offering, yet 
there is always a real specifical difference between the duties them- 
selves whereof one is accepted and the other rejected, although, it 
may be, unto us it be every way imperceptible ; 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 whomsoever they are performed, 
for he is " no respecter of persons." But this cannot be but where 
those that peiform 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 tuill 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 theii- sin 
have lost their power to fulfil his command. And if the equity of 
the command doth arise Ironi the proportioning of strength that men 
have to answer it, he that contracts the highest moial 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 warrant 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, — (I.) It is the ivill 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 
committed unto any of the sons of men. (2.) They have a double 
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 con- 
version 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 respect unto 
them as their duties, but as they are ways appointed and sanctified 
by him unto such ends. And hence it follows that even such duties 
as are vitiated in their performance, yet are of advantage unto them 
by whom they are performed ; for, — 1st. By attendance unto them 
they are preserved from many sins. 2d In an especial manner from 
the great sin of despising God, which ends commonly in that which 
is unpardonable. Zd. They are hereby made useful unto others, and 
many ends of God's glory in the world. Hh. They are kept in God's 
way, wherein they may gradually be brought over unto a real con- 
version 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 carcase unto life natural. 
It is a subject meet for an external power to introduce a living prin- 
ciple 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 otherwise 
is it with a soul dead in trespasses and sins. There is in it potentia 
ohedientialis, a power rendering it meet to receive the con:imunica- 
tijns of grace and spiritual life; but a disposition tliereunto 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 immediate power, disposing and enabling it unto spiri- 


tiial acts, it hatli not. And tlie reason is, because natural corruption 
cleaves unto it as an invincible, unmovable habit, constantly inducing 
unto evil, wherewith the least disposition unto spiritual good is not 
consistent. There is in the soul, in the Scripture language (which 
some call " canting"), " the body of the sins of the flesh," Col. ii. 1 1 ; 
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 right- 
eousness, and are meet to receive again the renovation of the image 
of God by 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 right- 
eous;" and Herod "heard John the Baptist gladly, doing many things 
willingly;" and great endeavours after conversion unto God we find 
in many who never attain thereunto. So that to say there is no dis- 
position unto spiritual life in any imregenerate person is to make 
them all equal, which is contrary to experience. 

Ans. 1. There is no doubt but that unregenerate men may per- 
form many external duties which are good in themselves, and lie i^i 
the order of the outward disposal of the means of conversion ; 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 actings are merely natural, there is no dis- 
position 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 2y^'epci^'>^a,tory inclinations in men, yet 
there are prejMratory luorks upon them. Those Avho have not the 
word, yet may have convictions of good and evil, from the autho- 
rity of God in their consciences, Bora. 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 natur;ii 
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 " tliat 
which is born of the flesh is flesh." 


S. The actings thus effected and produced in men unregenerate 
are neither fruits 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 dis- 
position 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 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 consist 
• — 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 regene- 
ration positively doth consist — The use and end of outward means — Real in- 
ternal efficiency of the Spirit in this work — 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 respect 
unto the distinct faculties of the soul; the mind, the will, the affections. 

Unto the description we are to give of the worh of regeneration, 
the precedent account of the subject of it, or the state and condition 
of them that are to be regenerated, vs^as necessarily to be premised ; 
for upon the knowledge thereof doth a due apprehension of tlie 
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 misunderstanding of the true state of men in their lapsed condi- 
tion, 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 cor- 
ruption of nature, that it disenables the minds of men to discern 
their own corruption. 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 de- 


pravatlon 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 nature consists therein, as some weakly and atheolo- 
gically have imagined. Much less have I treated concerning that 
increase and heightening of the depravation of nature which is con- 
tracted 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 impossibility of their turning themselves to God, Jer. 
xiii. 23 ; Rom. iii. 10-19. But that the whole difficulty of conversion 
should arise from men's contracting a habit or custom of sinning is 
false, and openly contradictory to the Scripture. These things are 
personal evils, and befall 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 between the publi- 
cans and harlots on the one hand, and the Pharisees on the other. 
But my design was only to mention that which is common unto all, 
or wherein all men universally are equally concerned, who are par- 
takers 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 persons liv- 
ing and dying in this estate cannot be saved. This hitlierto 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 cer- 
tain 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 imder 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," " alienated 
from him," "chiklreu 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, righteousness, or truth, with the law or 
gospel, nor possible in the nature of the thing itself, that such per- 
sons should enter into or be made possessors of glory and rest with 
God. A deliverance, therefore, out of and from this condition is in- 
dispensably necessary to make us meet for the inheritance of the 
saints in light. 

This deliveranice must be and is by regeneration. The determi- 
nation of our Saviour is positive, both in this and the necessity of it, 
before asserted : John iii. 8, " 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 
determination of our Saviour, as it is absolute and decretory, so it is 
applicable unto and equally compriseth every individual of mankind. 
And the work intended by their regeneration, or in being born again, 
which is the spiritual conversion and quickening of the souls of men, 
is everywhere ascribed unto them that shall be saved. And although 
men may have, through their ignorance and prejudices, false appre- 
hensions about regeneration and the nature of it, or wherein 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 testi- 
monies 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 necessity of it, 
although, it may be, not before it is too late to obtain any advantage 

The Holy Ghost is t"lie 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, fountain, or beginning of our sanctifi- 
cation, virtually comprising the whole in itself, as will afterward ap- 
pear. However, that it is a part thereof is not to be denied. Besides, 
as I suppose, 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, I 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 concerning it; for setting aside 
what men do herein themselves, and others do towai'ds them in the 


ministry of the word, I cannot see what remains, as they express 
their loose imaginations, to be ascribed unto the Spirit of God. But 
at present we shall make use of this general concession, that regene- 
ration 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 expressions; which was the constant prac- 
tice 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 " born of the Spirit," 
verses 5, 6, because he is the sole, principal, efficient cause of this 
new birth ; for " it is the Spirit that quickeneth," John vi. 63 ; Rom. 
viii. 11. And God saveth us "according to his mercy, by the wash- 
ing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost," Tit. iii. 5. 
Whereas, therefore, we are said to be " born of God," or to be " be- 
gotten again of his own will," John i. 13, James i. 18, 1 John iii. 9, 
it is with respect unto the especial and peculiar operation of the 
Holy Spirit. 

These things are thus far confessed, even by the Pelagians them- 
selves, 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 Ave 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 depends 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 keep- 
ing close to the doctrine of the principal ancient writers of the church ; 
the former, under new notions, expressions, and distinctions, endea- 
vouring the re-enforcement of Pelagianism, whereunto some of the 
elder schoolmen led the way, of whom our Bradwardine so long ago 
complained. But never was it with so much impudence and igno- 
rance traduced and reviled as it is by some among ourselves; for a 
sort of men we have who, by stories of wandering Jews, 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 confiimation. 

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 represent 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 
tlie more sober schoolmen, and others of late without number. Fre- 
quent 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 
imto them that are to be instructed, — yet, for the substance of the 
doctrine, they taught the same which hath been preached amongst us 
since the Reformation, 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 
declaration 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 intention. I shall, therefore, in general, refer 
the whole work of the Spirit of God with respect unto the regenera- 
tion 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. 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 dis- 
covery made in the mind or understanding unto the conscience of 
the sinner. 3. The excitation of affections suitable unto that dis- 
covery and application. 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 sua- 
sion 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, — 
]. What it is that is intended by that expression, and wherein its 
efficacy doth consist; and, 2. Prove that the whole work of the 


Spirit of God in tlie 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 writ- 
ings 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: — (].) That God ad- 
ministers srrace 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 disposed and inclined to receive and 
obey them, unless overpowered by prejudices and a course of sin. 
(4.) That the consideration of the promises and threatenings of the 
gospel 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 future 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 particular ; for if the work 
of our regeneration do 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 : — 

] . As to the nature of this moral suasion, two things may be con- 
sidered: — (1.) The means, instrument, and matter of it, and this is 
the word of God ; the word of God, or the Scripture, in the doctrinal 
instructions, precepts, promises, and threatenings of it. This is that, 
and this is that alone, whereby we are commanded, pressed, per- 
suaded, 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 where- 
unto they are designed ; for although they are distinctly and pecu- 
liarly 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 docu- 
ments and instructions which men have concerning the will of God, 
and the obedience which he requires of them from the light ot na- 
ture, with the works of creation and providence, I shall not here 
take them into consideration : for either they axe solitary, or without 

CHAP, v.] OF eegenehation. SOS 

any superaddition 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 declared have antecedaneously there- 
unto all the help which the light of nature will afford. 

(2.) The principal way of the application of this means to pro- 
duce its effect on the souls of men is the ministry of the church. 
God hath ajDpointed 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 dispensed 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 
outward means; for the revelation which is made of God and his 
mind thereby is sufficient to teach men all that is needful 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: — 

\st 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. 14-16. 

2d That the effect of regeneration or conversion unto God is as- 
signed unto the preaching of the word, because of its efficacy there- 
unto in its own kind and way, as the outward means thereof, 1 Cor. 
iv. 15; James i. 18; 1 Pet. i. 23. 

2. We may consider what is the nature and wherein the effi- 
cacy 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 con- 
sist, an insti'uction of the mind in the knowledge of the will of God 
and its duty towards him. The first regard unto men in the dispen- 
sation 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 revelation, — namely, to make known the counsel and 
will of God unto us: see Matt. iv. 15, 16; Luke iv. 18, 19; Acts 
xxvi. 16-18, 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 illu- 
mination of their minds consist, whereof we must treat distinctly after- 
ward. 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 
instructed. 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 tliereunto. 

(2.) On this supposition, that a man is instructed in the knowledge 
of the will of God, as revealed in the law and the gospel, there is 
accompanying the word of God, in the dispensation of it, a powerful 
pei^suasive 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 
tlience 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 ob- 
noxious 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, exhortations, expostulations, promises, and 
threatenings of the word, especially as dispensed in the ministry of 
the church, powerful motives to affect, and arguments to prevail 
with, the mind and will of such a man to endeavour his own regene- 
ration or conversion unto God, rational and cogent above all that can 
be objected unto the contrary. On some it is acknowledged 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 
tJtemselves, although, indeed, it is that they are not so towards us of 
themselves, but only as the Holy Spirit is pleased to act them to- 
wards 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 persuasion 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 t7'uth of the things from whence these 
motives and arguments were taken. The foundation of all the effi- 
cacy of the dispensation of the gospel lies in an evidence that the 
tilings proposed in it are not " cunningly- devised fables," 2 Pet. i. 16. 
V^'here 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 whereunto 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 Scripture are not proposed unto us merely as true, 
but as divine truths, as immediate revelations from God, which re- 



quire not only a rational but a sacred religious respect imto tliem. 
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, happiness, 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 m©«t 
noble object for our affections, even God himself, as a friend, as re- 
conciled unto us in Christ ; and that in a way suited unto his holi- 
ness, 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, motives, and arguments; 
the rendering whereof effectual is the principal end of the ministry. 
On the other hand, it is declared 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 ; and 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, therefore, in the 
judgment of every rational creature, spiritual things are to be pre- 
ferred before natural, eternal things before temporal, and 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 efficacy of the word on the minds and con- 
sciences of men is resolved into the authority of God. These pre- 
cepts, these promises, these threatenings are his, who hath right to 
give them and power to execute them. And with his authority, his 
glorious greatness and his infinite power come under consideration; 
so also doth his goodness and love in an especial manner, with many 
other things, even all the known properties of his holy nature ; — all 
which concur in giving weight, power, and efficacy unto these mo- 
tives and arguments. 

(3.) Great power and efficacy is added hereunto from the manage- 
ment of these motives in the preaching of the word. Herein with 
some the rhetorical faculty of them by whom it is dispensed is of 

VOL, III. 20 


great consideration ; for hereby are they able to prevail very much 
on the minds of men. Being acquainted with the inclinations and 
dispositions of all sorts of persons, the nature of their affections and 
prejudices, Avith the topics or kinds and heads of arguments meet to 
affect them and prevail with them, as also the ways of insinuating 
persuasive motives into 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.^ Herein do 
some place the principal use and efficacy of the ministry in th^ dis- 
pensation of the word; with me it is of no consideration, fur 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 demonstration of the Spirit and of power." Some 
of late have put in faint and weak exceptions unto the latter clause, 
as though not an evidence of the powerful presence of the Spirit of 
God in the dispensation 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 art 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 effica- 
cious 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 
causes : — 

[1.] The institution of God. He hath appointed the preaching 
of the word to be the means, the only outward ordinary means, for 
the conversion of the souls of men, 1 Cor. i. 1 7-20 ; Mark xvi. 1 5, 1 6 ; 
E.om. i. 16. And the power or efficacy of any thing that is used 
imto an end in spiritual matters depends solely on its divine ap- 
pointment 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 dis- 
charge of their work, Eph. iv. 11-13, whereof we shall treat after- 
ward. All the power, therefore, that these things are accompanied 
withal is resolved into the sovereignty of God ; for he hath chosen 
this way of preaching^ for this end, and he bestows these gifts on 
whom he pleaseth. From these things it is that the persuasive mo- 
tives 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. 

^ T< TO ofi?..o;, >u.» iltruvh'Tot ftii o Xiyas, xaxocvyhres Si a •roo'jros ; il fAv yap <ri/pi<rr»u 
eiiafxaXiinv n h IxxXmrix, liyXurrla; rtv i Kaipig, 'ETii^ti S» TpoTuv kyiit xai xafirofo^'ia 
iri Vfoxtifiivov, xoti Tpoirioxix evfavay to ^fotioxufjiiyoi, fin ^Kvxrn Z^riTlirlu, d>^^' o t^otoj.— 

Athauas. de Senicnte. / 


(4.) We do not therefore, in this ease, 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 S'plrit, 
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 finto 
motives, arguments, reasons, and considerations, proposed unto the 
mind, so to influence the will and the affections. Hence his ope- 
ration is herein moral, and so metaphorical, not real, proper, and 

Now, concerning this Avhole work I affirm these two things : — 

1. That the Holy Spirit doth make use of it in the regeneration 
or conversion of all that are adidt, 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, mo- 
tives, and persuasive arguments' 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. But, — 

2. We say that the whole work, or the tvhole of the luork 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 rege- 
nerated, 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 work 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,^ then 

J "Non est igitiir gratia Dei in natura liberi arbitrii, et in lege atque doctrina 
sicut Pelagius desipit, sed ad singulos actus datur illius ''voluntate de quo scriptum 
est ; pluviam voluniariavi segregahis Deus hcereditati ttice. Quia et liberum arbitrium 
ad diligendum Deum primi peccati granditate perdidimus; et lex Dei atque doctrina 
quamvis sancta et justa et bona, tamen occidit, si non vivificet Spiritus, per quern fit 
non ut audiendo sed ut obediendo, neque ut lectione sed ut dilectione teneatur. Qua- 
propter ut in Deum credamus et pie vivamus, non volentis neque currentis sed miso- 
reniis est Dei; non quia velle non deV)emus et currere, sed quia ipse in nobis et velle 
operatur et currere. Non ergo gratiam dicamus esse doctrinam, sed agnoscamus gra- 
tiam quae facit prodesse doctrinam ; quae gratia si desit, videmus etiam obesse doctri- 
nam." — August. Epist. ccxvii. ad Vitalem. 


after his whole work, and notwithstanding, it, the will of man re- 
mains absolutely indifferent whether it will admit of them or no, or 
whether it will convert 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 present 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 internal, wherein part of the difference lay between the 
Pelagians 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 birt 
what may be so refused, or that the will can make use of that grace 
for conversion 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, notwithstanding 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, pro- 
mise, and oath of God unto and with Jesus Christ. 8. It is contrary 
to express testimonies of Scripture innumerable, wherein actual con- 
version unto God is ascribed unto his grace, as the immediate effect 
thereof. This will farther appear afterward. " God worketh in us both 
to will and to do," Phil. ii. 13. The act, therefore, itself of wi/ling 
in our conversion is of God's operation; and although we will' our- 



selves, yet it is he wlio 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 good plea- 

Secondly, This moral persuasion, however advanced or improved, 
and supposed to be effectual, yet confers no new real siqjernahiral 
strength unto the soul; for whereas it worketh, yea, the Spirit or 
grace of -God therein and thereby, by. reasons, motives, arguments, 
and objective considerations, and no otherwise, it is able only to ex- 
cite 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 are nor can be conferred 
thereby/ And he who will acknowledge that there is any such in- 
ternal spiritual strength communicated unto us must also acknow- 
ledge that there is another work of the Spirit of God in us and upon 
us than can be effected by these persuasions. But thus it is in this 
case, as some suppose : " 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 affections likewise 
are vitiated with depraved habits, which by the same means are con- 
tracted. But when the gospel 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 
subject-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 disadvantages of a corrupt 
course under which it hath suffered, and prevail with the soul to de- 
sist from sin, — that is, a course of sinning, — and to become a new man 
in all virtuous conversation." And that this is in the liberty and 
power of the will is " irrefragably proved" by that sophism of Biel^ 
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 con- 
version be unquestionably wrought if the application of these means 

' " Sed quid illud est quo corporum sensus pulsantur, in agro cordis eui impcn- 
ditur ista cultura, nee radicem potest figcre nee gerineu emitterc, nisi i!le suinmus et 
verus Agricola potentia sui operis adhibuerit, et ad vitaleni profcctum ea quae sunt 
pkntata perduxerit?" — Epist. ad Demetriadem. 

' " Omni dietamini rcctas rationis potest voluntas se conformare ; sed diligere Deum 
sup'ir omnia est dictamen recta rationis; ratio enim dictat inter omnia diligcnda esse 
aliq'iid summe diligendum. Item homo errans potest diligere creaturam super omnia, 
ergoetiam Deum; mirum enim valde esset, quod voluntas se conformare possit dicta- 
mini erroneo et non recto." — Biel, ii. Sent, distinc. 27, q. art. 4. 


of it be so disposed, in the providence of God, as that they may be 
seasonable with respect unto the frame and condition of the mind 
whereunto they are apphed. And as sundry things are necessary to 
render the means of grace tlius seasonable and congruous unto the 
present frame, temper, and disposition of the mind, so in such a con- 
gruity much of its efficacy doth consist. And this," as it is said, "is the 
work of tlie 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 en- 
deavouring to turn to God, in the removal of prejudices and all sorts 
of moral impediments, men would continue and abide, as it were, 
dead in trespasses and sins, at least their endeavours after deliver- 
ance would be weak and fruitless." 

This is all the grace, all the work of the Spirit of God, in our re- 
generation and conversion, which some will acknowledge, so far as I 
can learn from their writings and discourses,^ But that there is more 
required thereunto I have before declared ; as also, it hath been mani- 
fested 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 discourses 
of some on this subject.^ Wherefore it is somewhat preposterous to 
endeavour an imposition of such rotten errors upon the minds of 
men, and that by crude assertions, without any pretence of proof, as 
is the way of many. And that the sole foundation of all their 

1 " Hoc piarum mentium est, ut nihil sibi tribuant, sed totmn gratice Dei ; unde 
quantumcunque aliquis det gratise Dei, etiamsi subtrahat potestati naturae aut liberi 
arbitrii a pietate non recedit ; cum vero aliquid gratise Dei sulitraliitur et iiaturaj 
tribuitur quod gratise est, ibi potest periculum intervenire." — Cassauder. Lib. Consult. 
art. Ixviii. 

^ " Pelagiana hseresis quo dogmata catholicam fidem destruere adorta sit, et quibus 
impietatum venenis viscera ecclesioe atque ipsa vitalia corporis Christi voluerit oecupare, 
Dotiora sunt quam ut opere narrationis indigeant. Ex his tamen una est blasphemia, 
nequissimum et subtilissimum germen aliarum, qua dicunt gratiam Dei secundum 
MEuiTA HOMiNUM DAEi. Cum enim primum tantam naturae humanae vellent astniere 
sanitateni, ut per solum libcrum arbitrium posset assequi Dei regnum; eo quod tam 
plene ipso conditionis sure prjesidio juvaretur; ut habens naturaliter rationalem intel- 
Icctum facile bonum cligcret malumque vitaret, et ubi in utraque parte libera essent 
opera -voluntatis, non facultatcm his qui mali sunt ad bonum dccsse, sed studium. Cum 
ergo, ut dixi, totani justitiam liominis ex naturali vellent rectitudine ac possibilltate 
subsistere, atque lianc definitionem doctrina sana respueret, damnatum a catholicis scnJ 
sum et multis postca hrereticce fraudis varietatibus colcratum, hoc apud se ingenii 
servaverunt, ut ad incipiendum, et ad proficiendum, et ad perseverandura in bono ne- 
cessariam homini Dei gratiam profitcrentur. Sed in hac professione quo dole vasa im 
molircntur irropere, ipsa Dei gratia vasis miscricordise revelavit. Intellectum kt 
enim, saluberrimcque perspectum hoc tantum cos de gratia confiteri, quod qutec/am 
libero Arbitrio sit magistra, scque per cohortationes, per legem, per doctrinara, 'per 
creaturai-um contemplationem, per miracula, pcrque terrores extrinsecus judiciq/ejus 
ostcntet; quo unusquisque secundum voluntatis suae motum, si qmcsierit invenit/t; a 
petierit, recipiat; si pulsaverit, introeat." — Prosp. ad Eufin. de Lib. Arbit. / 


harangues, — namely, the suitableness 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 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 doctrine 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 ideally and efficiently, especially by illumination, 
internal excitations of the mind and affections; and if thereon the 
will do put forth its act, and thereby determine itself in the choice 
of that which is good, in believing 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 illumination, 
excites the affections, and aids the will, is by moral persuasion only, 
no real strength being communicated or infused 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 conversion, 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 analog)' that there is 
between the forming of the natural body of Christ in the womb, 
and the Jorming 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 or 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 
dehorts 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, tli rough 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^ either for ourselves or 

' " Inaniter et perfunctorie' potius quam veraciter pro eis, ut doctrinse cui advcrsantur 
crclendo coiisentiant, Deo fundimus pieces, si ad ejus non pertinct gratiani convertere 
ad idem suam, ipsi fidei contrarias hominum voluntatcs." — August. Epist. ccxvii. 


others, wlien 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 pro- 
mised, 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 according to his good pleasure. 
And there is not a Pelagian in the world who ever once prayed for 
grace, or gracious assistance against sin and temptation, with a 
sense of his want of it, but that his prayers contradicted his profes- 
sion. 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 themselves. 
Suppose a man to have a power in himself to believe and repent ; 
suppose these to be such acts of his will as God doth not, indeed can- 
not, by his grace work in him, but only persuade him thereunto, and 
show liim sufficient reason 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 supplications for grace, they lay/ 
the foundation of them in an humble acknowledgment of their owJ 
vileness and impotency unto any thing that is spiritually good, ye^ 
and a natural aversation from it, and a sense of the power and word- 
ing of the remainder of indwelling sin in them, hereby exciting 
themselves unto that earnestness and importunity in their requests 


for grace which their 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 despised prayers, I shall supply them with an an- 
cient form that is better suited unto their principles.^ The preface 
unto it is, "Ille ad Deum digne elevat manus, ille orationem bona 
conscientia effundit qui potest dicere." The prayer followeth: — 
"Tu nosti Domine quam sanctse et purae et mundse sint ab omni 
malitia, et iniquitate, et rapina quas ad te extendo manus: quem- 
admodum justa et munda labia et ab omni mendacio libera quibus 
offero tibi deprecation es, ut mihi miserearis." This prayer Pelagius 
taught a widow to make, as it was objected unto him in the Diospo- 
litan synod, that is at Lydda in Palestine, cap. vi. ; 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,^ not declar- 
ing whose it is, lest they should censure him to the gallows. Where- 
as, 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 pro- 
posing 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 
work 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 them- 
selves, 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 

' " Prima divini muneris gratia est, ut erudiat nos ad nostrge humilitatis confessio- 
nem, et agnoscere faciat, quod, si quid boni agimus, per ilium possumus, sine quo nihil 
possumus."' — Prosp. Sentent. cv. ex August. 

* " Quicunque tribuit sibi bonum quod facit etiamsi "videtur nihil mali manibus 
operari, jam cordis innocentiam perdidit in quo se largitori bonoriun prsetulit." — Hieron. 
in cap. xvi. Proverb. 

3 " bone Domine Jesu, etsi ego admisi unde me damnare potes, tu non amisisti 
imde salvare soles. — Verum est conscientia mea meretur damnationem, et pcenitentia 
mea non sufiScit ad satisfactionem. Sed certum est quod misericordia tua superat 
omnem ofFensionem. Farce ergo mihi, Domine, qui es salus vera et non vis mortem 
peccatoris : miserere, Domine, peccatrici animse meoe, solve vincula ejus, sana vulnera 
ejut. Ecce misericors Deus coram te exhibeo animam mcam virtutum muneribus de- 
solaiam, catenis vitiorum ligatam, pondere peccatorum gravatam, delictomm sordibus 
foeda'am, discissam vulncribus dajmonum, putidam et i'cetidam ulceribus criminum : 
his e. aliis gravioribus nialis quae tu melius vides quam ego obstrictam, oppressam, 
circimdatam, obvolutam, bonorum omnium relevamine destitutam," etc. 


removed out of the way before this grace can be thought to be suf- 
ficient for the regeneration and conversion 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,^ that " however these prin- 
ciples may be improved and acted by those abilities, yet they are 
not sufficient, or will not eventually 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 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 confused apprehension and hope about. Now, the things 
received, proposed, and prescribed in the gospel, are so good, so ra- 
tional, so every way suited unto the principles of our being, the nature 
of our intellectual constitutions, or the* reason of men, and those for- 
tified with such rational and powerful motives, in the promises and 
threatenings of it, representing 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 re- 
fused 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 towards men, especially as the 
Holy Ghost is pleased to make use of these things in the dispensa- 
tion of the gospel by the ministry of the church ; for when the rea- 
son of men is by these means excited so far as to cast ofi prejudices, 
and enabled thereby to make a right judgment of what is proposed 
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." 

* " Gratia qua Christi populus sumus hoc cohilietur 
Limite vobiscum, et formam banc ascribitis illi, 
Ut cunctos vocet ilia quidera invitetque; ncque uUum 
Proeteriens, studeat communem adferre salutem 
Omnibus, et totum peccato absolvere uiundum. 
Sed proprio quemque Arbitrio parere vocanti, 
Judicioque suo, mota se extendere mente 
Ad lucem oblatam, qua3 so non substraliat ulli; 
Sed cupidos recti juvet, illustretque volentes. 
Ilinc adjutoris Domini bonitate magistra 
Cresccrc virtutum studia, ut quid quisque petendum 
Mandatis didicit, jugi sectetur amore." 

Prosp. de Ingrat. cap. x. 251 -5o2. 


And no doubt t-hls were a notable system of Christian doctrine, 
especially as it is by some rhetorically blended or theatrically repre- 
sented in feigned stories and apologues, were it not defective in one 
or two things : for, first, it is exclusive of a supposition of the fall of 
man, at least as unto the depravation of our nature which ensued 
thereon, and, secondly, of all real effective grace dispensed by Jesus 
Christ;^ which render it a fantastic dream, alien from the design 
and 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, inquire 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 themselves will 
afford, yet the mind of man in the state of nature, without a super- 
natural 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 notwithstanding the perception which the mind 
may attain unto in the truth of gospel proposals, and the convic- 
tion 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 will- 
ing 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 rege- 
neration 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 consist, — namely, in 
a supposed congruous persuasion of their minds, where it is alone, — 

Secondly, I shall proceed to show 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 accompanies, or 

* " Ploremus coram Domino qui fecit nos et homines et salvos. Nam si ille nos fecit 
homines, nos autem ipsi nos fecimus salvos, aliquid illo melius fecimus; melior est 
eiim salvus homo quam quilibet homo. Si ergo te Deus fecit hominera, et tu te fe- 
cisti bonum hominem, quod tu fecisti melius est." — August, de Verb. Apost. Serm. x. 

' Natura humana, etiamsi in ilia integritate in qua est condita, permanet, nullo 
moco seipsam, creatore sua non adjuvante, servaret. Unde cum sine Dei gratia sa- 
luten non posset custodire quam accepit, quomodo sine Dei gratia potest recuperare 
quan perdidit ?" — Prosp. Sentent. 308. 


is 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 unregenei'ate, 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 accompanied withal Whereas, 
therefore, some contend that there is no more needful to the con- 
version of sinners but the preaching 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 administra- 
tion of it is denied to be the total cause of conversion ; 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 it is 
sufficient and effectual, so far as that the effect of regeneration or 
conversion unto God is ascribed thereunto. This we have declared 

2. There is not only a moral but a phi/sical immediate operation 
of the Spirit, by his power and grace, or his powerful grace, upon the 
minds or souls of men in their regeneration.-^ 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. 18-20, 

' " At vero omnipotens hominem cum gratia salvat, 

Ipsa suum consummat opus, cui tempus agendi 

Semper adest quse gesta velit : non moribus illi 

Fit mora, non causis anceps suspenditur ullis. 

Nee quod sola potest cura. officioque ministri 

Exequitur, famulisve vieem committit agendi. 

Qui quamvis nmlta admoveat mandata vocantis, 

Pulsant non intrant animas ; Deus ergo sepultos 

Suscitat et solvit peccati compede vinctos. 

Ille obscuratis dat cordibus intellectum : 

Ille ex injustis justos facit, indit amorem 

Quo redametur amans, et amor quern conserit, ipse est. 

Hunc itaque affectum quo sumunt mortua vitam, 

Quo tonobrte fiunt lumen, quo immunda nitescunt ; 

Quo stulti sapere incipiunt segrique valescunt 

Nemo alii dat, nemo sibi." 

Frosp. do Ingrat. cap. xv. 384-398. 
" Lcgant ergo et intelligant, intueantur atque fateantur, non logo atque doctrina ; 
Bonante forinsccus, sed interna atque occulta, mirabili atque ineffabili potestate opeiAn 
Deum in cordibus hominum non solum vcras revelationes, sed bonas etiam voluntat/s." 
— August. Lib. dc Grat. Christ, adv. Pdagium et Cielest., cap. xxiv. / 


^ That ye may know what is the exceeding greatness of his power 
to US-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty 
power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised 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 in- 
tended, 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 eflficiency ascribed, — the "working of his mighty power." 
And the nature of this operation or efficiency 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 constantly expressed by words denoting a 
real internal efficiency; such as creating, quickening, forming, giv- 
ing a new heart, whereof afterward. Wherever this word is spoken 
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 with respect unto us, there it is passively ex- 
pressed ; we are created in Christ Jesus, we are new creatures, we 
are horn again, and the like; which one observation is sufficient to 
evert 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 born 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, or always effica- 
cious. But in this assertion we suppose that the measure of the 

1 " Quid est, Omnis gut audivit a Paire, et didicit, venit ad me; nisi nullus est qui 
audiat a Patre, et discat et non yeniat ad me ? Si enim omnis qui audivit a Patre et 
didcit, venit, profecto omnis qui non venit non audivit a Patre nee didicit; nam si 
audsset et didicisset veniret; — hajc itaque gratia quse occulte humanis cordibus divina 
largitate tribuitur, a nullo duro corde respuitur; ideo quippe tribuitur ut cordis duritia 
primtus auferatur." — August, de Praedest. Sanct. lib. i. cap. 8. 


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 
motions 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 experience 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 frustrated 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 regeneration, he removes all obstacles, overcomes all 
oppositions, and infallibly produceth the effect intended.^ This pro- 
position being of great importance to the glory of God's grace, and 
most signally opposed by the patrons of corrupted nature and man's 
free-will in the state thereof, must be both explained and confirmed. 
We say, therefore, — 

(1.) The power which the Holy Ghost puts forth in our regenera- 
tion is such, in its acting or exercise, as our minds, wills, and affec- 
tions, are suited to be wrought upon, and to be affected by it, accord- 
ing to their natures and natural operations: "Turn thou me, and 
I shall be turned; 'draw me, and I shall run after thee." He doth 
not act in them any otherwise than they themselves are meet to 
be moved and move, to be acted and act, according to their own na- 
ture, power, and ability. He draws us with " the cords of a man." 
And the work itself is expressed by persuading, — " God shall per- 
suade Japheth;" and alluring, — " I will allure her into the wilder- 
ness, and speak comfortably unto her:" for as it is certainly effectual, 
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 act 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 

' " qualis est artifex ille Spiritus! nulla ad discendum mora agitur in omne cpod 
volucrit. Mox enim ut eligeret mentem docet; solumque tetigisse docuisse est. Jam 
humanum subito ut illustrat iramutat affectum ; abnegat hoc repente quod erat, exjibet 
repente quod non ei-at." — Gregor. Horn. xxi. in EvangeL / 


by liim 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 act- 
ings, through an immediate influence and impression of his power: 
"Create in me a clean heart, God." He "worketh both to will 
and to do." 

(3.) He therefore offers no violence or compulsion unto the will/ 
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 (" Compel 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 habitually 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 prevail against all this opposi- 
tion, and is effectual and victorious over it, — it will be inquired how 
this can any otherwise be done but by a kind of violence and com- 
pulsion, seeing we have evinced already that moral persuasion and 
objective allurement is not sufficient thereunto? Ans. It is acknow- 
ledged that in the work of conversion unto God, though 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 offered unto the will ; for, — 

[1.] The opposition is not ad idem. The enmity and opposition ' 
that is acted by the will against grace is against it as objectively 
2)roposed 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 do always resist the Holy Ghost." The will, there- 
fore, is not forced by any power put forth in grace, in that way where- 
in it is capable of making 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 sundry of the 
schoolmen acknowledge), acts not but as it is acted, moves not but 

' " Christus non dicit, duxerit, ut illic aliquo modo intelligamus proecedere voliintatem ; 
Bed dicit, traxerit, quis autem trahitur si jam volebat; et tamen nemo venit nisi velit, 
trahitur ergo miris modis ut velit, ab illo qui novit intus in ipsis hominum cordibns 
oierari ; non ut homines, quod fieri non potest, nolentes credant, sed ut Tolentes ex no- 
leitibus fiant." — August, cont. Duas Epist. Pelag. cap. xix. 

" Certum est nos velle cum volumus, sed ille lacit ut velimus tonura, de quo dictum 
estDeus est qui operatur in nobis velk." — Idem de Grat. et Lib. Arbit. cap. xvi. 


as it is moved ; and therefore is passive therein, in the sense immedi- 
ately 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 
tlie 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. i. cap. 19: "Trahitur [homo] miris modis ut velit, ab illo qui 
novit intus in ipsis cordibus hominum operari; non ut homines, 
quod fieri non potest, 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 princijoles 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 substance 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 work of conversion itself, and in especial the act of 
believing^ ov 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 
Avork and effect of God. Indeed, there is nothing mentioned in the 
Scriptures 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 concerning; but for 

» " Restat ut ipsam fidem unde omnis justitia sumit initium, non hnmano, quo isti/ 
extolluntur, tribuanius arbitrio, nee ullis precedentibus meritis, quoniam inde inci- 
piunt bona qutecunque sunt merita, sed gratuitum Dei donum esse fateamur, si gratiaM 
veram, id est, sine meritis cogitcmus." — August. Epist. cv. 

" Nolens ergo bis tam claris testimoniis repugnare, et tamen volens a seipso sibi es^e 
quod credidit quasi componat cum Deo ut partem fidei sibi vendicet, atque illi partflb 
relinquat ; et quod est elatius, primam tollit ipse, sequentem dat illi ; et in eo quod dibit 
esse amborum, priorem se, facit posteriorem Deum." — August, de Praedest. Sanct caW iL 



that which some call a "next power,"^ or an ability to believe iu 
order of nature antecedent unto believing itself, wrought in us by the 
grace of God, the Scripture is silent. The apostle Paul saith of him- 
self, ndvra Iff^vu iv tui s]/dvva/j,ovvri /j,s Xpiffrui, 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 act- 
ing: but this is not a power for the first act of faith, but a power in 
them that believe. Such a power I acknowledge, wliich is acted in 
tlie co-operation of the Spirit and grace of Christ with the grace 
which believers have received, unto the performance of all acts of 
huly obedience; whereof 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 or 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 accom- 
plished was m potentia before ; there must, therefore, be in us a 
power to believe before we do sp actually."' A71S. The act of God 
working faith in us is a creating act: " We are his workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus," Eph. ii. 10; and he that is in Christ Jesus 
" is a new creature," 2 Cor, v. 1 7. Now, the effects of creating acts 
are not in potentia anywhere 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 contradiction 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 
2)0VJer, as they call it, as should enable them to believe without farther 
actual grace working faith itself. Wherefore, with respect to believ- 
ing, 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 believe is to believe. This 
God works in us by that grace which Austin and the schoolmen 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 

' " Quando Deus docetper Spiritus gratiam, ita docet ut quod quisque didicerit non 
tantum cognoscendo videat, sed etiam volendo appetat agendoque perficiat. Et ipso 
divino docendi modo etiam ipsa voluntas, et ipsa operatic non sola volendi et operandi 
naiuralis possibilitas adjuvatur. Si enim solum posse nostrum hac gratia juvaretur,. 
ita diccret Dominus, Omnis qui audirit a Patre, et didicit, potest venire ad me." — August. 
de t'rrat. Christ, contra Pelagium, cap. xiv. 

VOL. III. £i 


of bpli'^ving given unto all men unto whom the gospel is preached, 
or who are called