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first parents, proposed his gracious covenant, the summary whereof was in all ages, handed down by the instruction of the patriarchs ; 'it was a part of the office of the Spirit of adop tinn, to stir up and lead, by the hand, the minds of believers to the knowledge, meditation and apprehending of that saving grace; to intimate to the soul the things externally handed down by the tradition of the oracles, vouchsafed to the patriarchs and prophets," and thus impart 'some relish of divine love, first more sparingly, afterwards more abundantly. By this means, that horrow or dread is banished, which the thunders of the law, a consciousess of guilt, and the jast apprehension of divine vengeance had begot in the soul.
V. While the Spirit does this, he, by the same work, inAames the hearts of the children of God, with returns of love; whereby they yield obedience to God, not any longer from a fear of punishment, but from a pure and sincere affection, and a generous reverence for their most beloved Father, and that witk willingness, and alacrity, as becomes children of such an extrac tion; with a denial of their own will, and a diligent care to do nothing, unworthy of that glorious condition:
VII. Besides this, the Spirit likewise presents to their view the promised inheritance, and confirms them in the expectation of it, by the word and sacraments, whose moral efficacy, as it is called, he accompanies with a supernatural, internal and operative virtue; and gives them the enjoyment of it in bope: nay, sometimes he raises them on high, so that, by removing the vail, and drawing up the curtain, he in some measure, gives them a view of those good things, which are laid up for them in the heavenly country, whereby, with gladness and exultation they rejoice in hope of the glory of God, Rom. v. 2.
VIII. These three things are the natural consequences of adoption. 1st. A persuasion of the greatest love of the adopter.edly. An obedience of love agreeable to the laws of the family into which he is received, and to the nature and will of the new parent." Sdly. An expectation of the inberitance. The Spirit therefore, who produces these things in the elect; is justly called the Spirit of adoption.
1x The ancient believers had all these things; though God in his wisdom appointed degrees and limits, as the times required. Their soul exulted in the Lord, Psal. iv. 7. they delighted themselves in the faith, hope, serise and relish of divine love, Psal. xxxi. 7. Psal. li. 14. Psal. XXXVI. 7, 8, 9. Psal. Ixii. 5. [Heb. the familiar converse] * the secret of God was in ot upon their tabernacles," Job xxix. 4. They also loved God as their Father, Psal. lxxxi. 1. Psal. cxvi. 1. and from love yielded
obedience to him, Psal cxix. 10. with readiness and delight in
his commandments, Psal. cxix. 9, 11, 14, 16. They comforted themselves in adversity with the unfailing expectation of a blessed inheritance, Psal. xvi. 25. Which, though at a distance,
God presented to their view, and gave them initial prelibations of, Psal. xxxi. 19. As all these things follow upon adoption, and ought to be ascribed to the Spirit, they make it evident, that the Spirit of adoption is by no means to be reckoned a peculiar benefit of the New Testament, as if the Old Testament believers were destitute of it. Paul himself expressly asserts, that the same Spirit of faith, by which we speak (which certainly, is the Spirit of adoption) was also in the fathers, 2 Cor. iv. 13.
X. However, it is not to be denied, that those operations of this free and noble Spirit, were of old, more rare and spar. ing than afterwards, and mixed with much terror. The legal economy was then in its vigour; as the covenant of grace was revealed more obscurely, and in much enigmatical darkness, 60 likewise it was not intimated to the conscience with such evidence of demonstration: a hand-writing, in the mean time, was also required to be renewed by the blood of daily sacrifices, as by so many subscriptions; a thirst after better pro mises was raised, though not yet to be quenched: by these means, those noble operations of the Spirit were so clouded in most, that in comparison of the joyful abundance under the New Testament, the Spirit is said, John vii
. 39. not to have been under the Old. This is not to be understood in such a restricted sense, as to make us imagine, that the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, poured out on the day of Pentecost, are here only intended. For, something is promised, which is
, common to all believers in Christ, and which is said not to have been before Christ was glorified. But what is that? It is the full and illustrious exhibition of the Spirit, which Christ deferred, till he took solemn possession of his kingdom, and which appeared in those visible gifts, as in so many mirrors, which is also to be extended to the gracious fruits of adoption : as Calvin has well observed on this place.
XI. And indeed, we often find in scripture, that the Holy Spirit is so promised to the New Testament, as if there was no such thing under the Old, Isa. xxxv. 6, 7. and xliv. 3. Ezek. xxxiv. 26, 27. Joel ii. 28. Zech. xiv. 8. compared with Ezek. xlvii. 1. -All which things belong to the times of the Messiah's kingdom now manifested in the world. To this also we are to refer, what John the Baptist said of Christ, Mat. ii. 11. that he would baptize the children of Abraham with the Holy Ghost and with fire.' For seeing the Baptist speaks
glorious, full of glory, 1 Pet. i. 8. “And what John also
says, that perfect lovc, such as is produced by the gospel, casteth out all fear, 1 John-iv. 18... And really it seems evident, that in a peace so noble and serene, in a joy almost so incredible, there can be no room for any unruly passion, fear or trembling.
X.IV. And then the apostle gives such excellent encomiums of their holiness, as may be judged very far to transcend the measure of our days: when he thus declares concerning himself, that he was crucified with Christ, that he did no longer live, but Christ lived in him, as if his spirit and life, like that of an inferior order, were swallowed up in the more illustrious Spirit and life of Christ, as the sun in the heavens extinguishes the light of the stars; and all the life, he lived, flowed from no other principle, but the faith and love of the Son of God, Gal. ii. 20. Nay he openly declares his contempt of all the things which other men so highly value, and that he prizes Christ alone, and that forgetting the things which are behind he presses forwards with a large pace, and a most speedy course to perfection, Phil. iii. 7, 8, 14. Who of us will deny, that he does not come far short of these high attainments ?
XV. The apostle every where openly professed an incredible hope and assurance of the future inheritance: and he undoubtedly describes bis assurance, towards the close of the eighth chapter to the Romans, in such magnificent language, that nothing more emphatically strong can be conceived. Let that animated gloriation in the Lord be attentively read, and we shall see, that it sets forth, in an extraordinary pomp of words, the immense abundance of the Spirit inhabiting his noble breast, and the sparkling flames of the love of God kindled in his heart. He also clearly displays his hope, 2 Cor. v. 1, 2. 2 Tim. iv. 8. Phil. i. 23. whereby he was so far from fearing death, at the mention of which most people are ready to tremble for fear, that on the contrary, he embraced it with open arms, and longed to be dissolved, that he might have the more full enjoyment of Christ.
XVI. Indeed if any one shall compare these magnificent expressions, with what is observed among believers at this day, he will be obliged to own, that they come far short of that eminence and excellence; they are so mean, poor and fading in comparison of these unparalleled expressions, which with astonishment we admire in the apostle. But doubtless the Spirit bloweth when, how, and where he listeth: it does not become us to set bounds to him. In the beginning of the gospel God sbewed what he can do, and what on the other hand he will do, when he shall restore life, as it were, from the dead, Rom. xi. 15. arise, arise, thou charming friendly ren l;
XVII. To this Spirit the apostle principally ascribes, two effects, Rom. vii. 15, 16. the former of which is, the making us cry, Abba, Father; the latter, that together with our spirit, itself beareth witness, that we are the children of God:
and as these two things contain the highest consolation, it will not be improper to explain them with all the accuracy we are able.
XVIII. The Holy Spirit is never idle; where he is, there the heart brings forth a good speech, Psal. xlv. l. The Spirit is that mystical new wine, which makes the virgins cheerful, (eloquent) Zech. ix. 17. and causeth the lips of those that are asleep to speak, Cant. vii. 9. They who have the Spirit of faith, as they believe 80 they speak, 2 Cor. iv. 18. 13
XIX. Nor do they only speak, muttering like the ventriloquists, who speak from the belly, or like those who scarce speak out what they have conceived in their mind, fear having restrained their faultering tongue ; but they confidently cry out with a loud voice. Nor is it in vain, that the apostle both here and Gal. iv. 6. uses the term crying. It denotes that boldness, freedom, and courage, with which we are commanded to approach the throne of grace, Heb. iv. 16. and present our requests there.
XX. But what does he principally teach us to cry? Abba, Father. Servants and hand-maids of old, were not suffered to call their masters by the name of Father, as the very learn ed Selden, de Successionibus, c. 4. bas shewn from the law of the Hebrews. But the servants and hand-maids of God, both under the Old and New Testament, are allowed this privilege, as was shewn above from Isa. Ixiii. 26. Job xxxiv. 86. To which I now add, Isa. xliv. 8. and Jer. iii. 4. When Christ commanded his disciples to pray, Our Father, which art in hear den, he used an expression well known to, and very commen among the Jews. Thus Maimonides in Tephilloth-Our Fa* ther, who art in headen, so deal with us, as thou hast promised it by the prophets.nu
XXI. And the doubling of words, Abba, Father, both here and in the epistle to the Galatians, is very emphatical. The former being of Hebrew, and the latter of a Greek originals Did not the apostle by this intend to teach us, that under the influence of the Spirit, God was now to be called Father, by believers of whatever nation, or in whatever language ? For the reason of this repetition, seems here to be different from that