Page images

ther prejudices which hinder them Voiuine from embracing the Truthi. XII.

Sixthly, The last way. whereby the Spirit of God may be said to work in us an effectual belief of the Gospel, is by farthering, and helping forward the Efficacy of this perswalion upon our hearts and lives, in the first work of Conversion and Regeneration, and in the progressive work of Sanctification afterward; both which the Scripture doth every where attribute to the Spirit of God, as the Author and Effi.. cient Cause. The Faith which puri: fies the heart, and conquers the world, and works by love, hath this Effeet from the Spirit of God. Hence we are faid to be sanctified by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and the belief of the truth, and to be kept by the mighty power of God through faith unto salvation.

Thus I have shewn you, as briefly and clearly as I could, how the Spirit of God doth concur to the begetting of this Divine Faith and Perswafion in us, and consequently in what respects Faith may be faid to be the gift of God.


I shall only draw two or three Inferences from this Discourse.


V. I. we may learn from hence to attribute all the good that is in us, or that we do in any kind, to God. Évery good thing is from God; so St. James tells us, that every good and perfect work comes down even from the father of lights. Much more are we to ascribe to the free grace

of God all the revelation of supernatural Truth, whịch we cannot possibly come to the kņowledge of, unless God of his free grace ness be pleased to discover it to us. And so likewise are we to ascribe to God, and the Operation of his Holy Spirit upon our Hearts, our belief of those truths,and assent to them. Considering the corruption and degeneracy of hu, man Nature, and the opposition of the Lults and Prejudices of men to Divine Truth, we stand in need of the gracę of God, and the Operation of his Spirit upon our hearts, to bring us to a firm assent to the Gospel: for as flesh and blood could not reveal these truths to us, so neither is it very apt to assent to them when they are revealed.

and good;

Volume In the Phrase of Scripture, all good XII. is attributed to God; and all spiritual

good to the Holy Spirit of God working in us, and affisting us to the doing of it. As on the other hand, the Scripture attributes all those fins that are committed in the World, to the influence of evil Spirits. He that committeth sin is of the Devil. And tho' we do not know many times, how the Spirit of God worketh a good inclination in us, yet it is safe to follow the Phrase of Scripture, and to ascribe all good to God, as in some way or other the Author of it.

II. This doth not excuse the Infidelity of men, that Faith is the gift of God. For tho' no man doth believe without fome influence of the Divine Spirit upon his heart, yet this does by no means excufe those who believe not, any more than it is an excuse to the infidelity of men, that the Scripture attributes it to the Devil, as in fome fort the caufe of it. He is faid to blind the eyes of them that believe not, left the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should fbine into them. But


the unbelief of men is a fault for all this; because the Devil cannot blind Sermon our minds, unless we consent to it: he y. can only suggest false Principles to us; but we may chuse whether we will entertain them or not: he can only tempt us to reject the truth; but we may chufe whether we will do so or not. In this we are faulty, because we may resist the Devil, and quench or repel those fiery darts which he cafts into our minds: but if we will consent to his temptations, and suffer our felves to be blinded by him, the fault of our unbelief is our own, as well as his ; and we are guilty of the infidelity which we suffer him to tempt us to.

So on the other hand tho? Faith be the gift of God; yet those that believe not are faulty upon this account, that they quench and resist the blessed motions of God's Spirit, and the influence and Operation of the Spirit of God, which accompany the Truth of the Gospel to the minds of men, and produce their Effect wherever they are not opposed and rejected by the prea judice and perverseness of mene

III. Let


III. Let us depend upon God for, XII.

every good gift; and earnestly beg the assistance and influence of his holy Spirit, which is fo necessary to us to beget Faith in us, and to preserve, and to make it effectual upon our hearts and lives. Bread is not more necefsary to the support of our natural life, than the holy Spirit of God to our spiritual life.

For our encouragement to ask this gift of God's Holy Spirit, our Saviour hath told us, that God is very ready to bestow him upon us. No Father upon Eearth is more ready to give bread to his Children that cry after him, than God is to give his Spirit to those that heartily and earnestly beg it of him. So our Saviour assures us, Luke 11. 11, 12, 13. If a fon Mall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a filh give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil

, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy Spirit to them that ask him?


[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »