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“ that the apostle, where he compares the law and the “ gospel, means something which is more than a piece “ of book-learning, or an historical narration of the free “ love of God, in the several contrivances of it for the i redemption of mankind.
“ The evangelical or new law is an efflux of life and “ power from God himself, the original of life and “ power, and produceth life wherever it comes; and to 6 this double dispensation of law and gospel does St. “ Paul clearly refer, 2 Cor. iii. 3. You are the epistle 6 of Christ ministered by us, WRITTEN NOT WITH INK, “ but with THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING God.-Not in 6 tables of stone; which last words are a plain gloss upon " that mundane kind of administering the law, in a mere " external way, to which he opposeth the GOSPEL.
“ The gospel is not so much a system and body of “ saving divinity, as the spirit and vital influence of it “ spreading itself over all the powers of men's souls, and « quickening them into a DIVINE LIFE; it is not so pro“ perly a doctrine that is wrapt in ink and paper, as it “ is vitalIS SCIENTIA, a living impression made on the • soul and spirit. The gospel does not so much con66 sist in verbis as in virtute; in the written word, as in “ an internal energy.”
He who wishes to have an adequate idea of this profound scholar and most excellent man, will find a pleasing account of him in Bishop Patrick's sermon at his funeral, subjoined to the SELECT DISCOURSES, which abound with beautiful passages, illustrative of the true Christian philosophy.
SECTION VIII. Dr. Isaac Barrow's Opinion of the Evidence of Christianity, afforded by the iluminating Operation of the Holy Spirit; and on the Holy Spirit in general.
“ OUR reason is shut up, and barred with vali rious appetites, humours, and passions against gospel “ truths; nor can we admit them into our hearts, except “ God, by his spirit, do sct open our mind, and work a “ free passage for them into us. It is he who com“ manded the light to shine out of darkness, that must, « as St. Paul speaketh, illustrate our hearts with the know“ ledge of these things. An UNCTION from the Holy One, “ clearing our eyes, softening our hearts, healing our “ distempered faculties, must, as St. John informeth us, • TEACH and persuade us this sort of truths. A hearty “ belief of these seemingly incredible propositions must « indeed be, as St. Paul calleth it, the gift of God, pro“ceeding from that Spirit of faith whereof the same “ apostle speaketh; such faith is not, as St. Basil saith, “ engendered by geometrical necessities, but by the ef- r “ fectual operations of the Holy Ghost. Flesh and “ blood will not reveal to us, nor can any man with « clear confidence say that Jesus is the Lord (the MES66 SIAS, the infallible Prophet, the universal Lawgiver, " the Son of the living God) but by the Holy Ghost. “ Every spirit which sincerely confesseth him to be the “ Christ, we may, with St. John, safely conclude to be “ of God; for of ourselves we are not sufficient, as the « apostle says, hoy cec9c66 To, to reason out or collect any " of these things. We NEVER, of our own accord, with“ out DIVINE ATTRACTION, should come unto Christ; that “ is, should effectually consent unto and embrace his in. “ stitution, consisting of such unplausible propositions
« and precepts. Hardly would his own disciples, who ! had so long enjoyed the light of his conversation and “ instruction, admitted it, if he had not granted them " that Spirit of truth, whose work it was odnyelv, to lead « them in this unknown and uncouth way και αναγ[ελλειν to “ tell them again and again, that is, to instil and incul“ cate these crabbed truths upon them; utopijevnorety, to as admonish, excite, and urge them to the marking and " minding them; hardly, I say, without the guidance of “ this Spirit, would our Lord's disciples have admitted “ divers evangelical truths, as our Lord himself told “ them. I have, said he, many things beside to say to 66 you, but ye cannot as yet bear them; but when he, the “ Spirit of truth, shall come, he shall CONDUCT YOU INTO " ALL TRUTH.
“ As for the mighty sages of the world, the learned « scribes, the subtle disputers, the deep politicians, the « wise men according to the flesh, the men of most re“ fined judgment and improved REASON in the world's “ eye, they were more ready to deride than to regard, “ to impugn than to admit these doctrines; to the “ Greeks, who sought wisdom, the preaching of them « seemed foolishness.
“ It is true, some few sparks or flashes of this divine « knowledge may possibly be driven out by rational con"" sideration. Philosophy may yield some twilight glim“ merings thereof. Common reason may dictate a faint « consent unto, may produce a cold tendency after some “ of these things; but a clear perception, and a resolute * « persuasion of mind, that full assurance of faith and in
« flexible confession of hope quorogra ons entidos axhoras, «which the apostle to the Hebrews speaks of, that full “ assurance of understanding, that abundant knowledge s of the divine will in all spiritual' wisdom and under“ standing, with which St. Paul did pray that his Colos« sians might be replenished; these so perfect illustra« tions of the mind, so powerful convictions of the heart, “ do argue immediate influences from the Fountain of life “ and wisdom, the DIVINE SPIRIT. No external in5 struction could infuse, no interior discourse could ex“ cite them; could penetrate these opacities of igno“ rance, and dissipate these thick mists of prejudice, “ wherein nature and custom do involve us; could so “ thoroughly awaken the lethargic stupidity of our souls; “ could supple the refractory stiffness of our wills; could “ mollify the stony hardness of our hearts; could void “ our natural aversion to such things, and quell that “ O gornjea cagros, that carnal mind, which, St. Paul says, is 5.enmity against God, forit is not subject to the law of God, “ neither indeed can be; could depress those of specially “ those lofty towers of self-conceit, reared against the “knowledge of God, and demolish those oxuqoplak tu, “ those bulwarks of self-will and perverse stomach, op“posed against the impressions of divine faith, and cap“ tivate tay vonuce, every conceit and device of ours to “ the obedience of Christ and his discipline. Well, “ therefore, did St. Paul pray in behalf of his Ephesians, " that God would bestow on them the Spirit of wis« dom and revelation in the acknowledgment of him, “ and that the eyes of their mind might be enlightened, " so as to know the hope of their calling; that is, to un- - " derstand and believe the doctrines of Christianity. ****
“We proceed now to the peculiar offices, functions, " and operations of the Holy Spirit: Many such there " are in an especial manner attributed or appropriated “ to him; which, as they respect God, seem reducible “ to two general ones: the declaration of God's mind, " and the execution of his will; as they are referred to “ man, (for in regard to other beings, the scripture doth « not so much consider what he performs, it not concern« ing us to know it:) are especially the producing in us « all actions requisite or conducible to our eternal happi
"ness and salvation; to which may be added, the inter“ cession between God and man, which jointly respect « both.
« First, it is his especial work to disclose God's mind “ to us; whence he is styled the Spirit of truth, the Spi“ rit of prophecy, the Spirit of revelation; for that all “ supernatural light and wisdom have ever proceeded “ from him. He instructed all the prophets that have “ been since the world began, to know, he enabled them “ to speak, the mind of God concerning things present “ and future. Holy men (that have taught men their “ duty, and led them in the way to bliss) were but his “ instruments speaking as they were moved by the Holy « Ghost.
“ By his inspiration the holy scriptures (the most full 6 and certain witness of God's mind, the law and testi6 mony by which our life is to be directed and regulated) “ were conceived. He guided the apostles in all truth, 6 and by them instructed the world in the knowledge of “ God's gracious intentions towards mankind, and in all “ the holy mysteries of the gospel: That which in other « ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is « now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the « Spirit. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have “ entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath “ prepared for them that love him ; but God hath revealed “ them to us by his Spirit, saith St. Paul. All the know“ LEDGE we can pretend to in these things doth proceed “ merely from his revelation, doth wholly rely upon his 6 authority."
“ To him it especially belongs to execute the will of « God, in matters transcending the ordinary power and “ course of nature. Whence he is called the power of " the Most High, (that is, the substantial power and vir“ tue of God,) the finger of God (as by comparing the “ expression of St. Luke and St. Matthew may appear);