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be understood of those extraordinary miraculous Effusions of the Spirit, which were vouchsafed to the Christians of the Apostles Time, for the quicker spreading, and the greater Confirmation of the Christian Religion; all which Gifts of the Spirit are ceased in our Days. Now, according to this Notion of the Spirit, the Sense of the Text is this, that the Spirit of God, which was in this Manner poured forth upon the Apostles and the other Christians in their Days, was a Seal and an Evidence to them and to all the World, that the Christians were the Children of God, that he owned their Cause, that he acknowledged them for his People, and would reward them at the Day of the general Retribution: Nay, these Works of the Spirit were not only a Seal to the Christians of those Days, but to us at this Time, and will be so to the End of the World. For the Works that were then done, are a Confirmation to us at this Day, of the Truth of Christianity, and a Seal that God hath set to the Evangelical Covenant, that he will make good the Promises of the Gospel to the whole Succession of Believers for ever. This now, it cannot he denied, is a very true Sense of the Spirit's sealing, and ought by no means to be refused or excluded; but yet
I conceive it is not the full Sense of the Words, nor the Sense principally intended by them, And my Reason is this, because it appears
pretty clear from the context, and also from the Text itself, that the Spirit is here considered as a Lodger and a Guest in the Heart of Christians, and under that Notion they are bound not to grieve him; and every Christian is concerned in that Advice or Precept ; and he is therefore concerned, because the Holy Spirit is to seal to him a Title to his eternal Inheritance. But now if the Sptrit's sealing to the Day of Redemption be only his Confirmation of Christianity by the extraordinary Works which were wrought in the primitive Times, then either all Persons are not concerned in the Prohibition of not grieving him (but only those in whom he vouchsafed his extraordinary Presence in order to the working Miracles): Or, if all Persons be concerned in it, then the Argument, whereby the Apostle would enforce it, is either none at all, or but a very dry one. It is therefore reasonable to be. lieve,
3. In the third Place, that these Words are spoken, not with relation to the extraordinary Works of the Spirit, but to his constant Assistances to all Christians ; and the true Sense and Meaning of our being fealed by the Holy Spirit to the Day of Redemption will be this ; That the Holy Spirit dwelling in our Hearts, and enabling us to mortify our Lusts, and to live a Life of Purity and Holiness, is that Seal that God hath set upon us to diftinguish us from the rest of the World, and to make us his own Children. For any Man to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, is a certain Argument that he belongs to God, and that he shall be raised up among the Happy at the last Day. On the contrary, whosoever hath not the Holy Spirit dwelling in him, cannot plead any Right to the Promises of everlasting Life made by our Saviour. Which St. Paul does more fully make out in his eighth Chapter of the Ro
This then is the Sum of the Text, That we had need be very careful how we grieve or offend the Holy Spirit, because our everlafting Happiness or Misery depends upon his dwelling, or not dwelling within us.
If we so carry ourselves as not to grieve him, he will dwell within us; and that Indwelling of his, is our certain Evidence and Security that we shall be made Partakers of everlasting Life. If by a careless, and wicked Course, we so provoke him, that he quits his Habitation, and leaves us to ourselves, then we have no Seal of God upon us, we can challenge no Right or Property to the Rewards of God's Children at the last Day, but are left in the Crowd of the Miserable, to receive our Portion with apoftate Angels, and with Hypocrites and Unbelievers.
DISCOURSE IV. Of the various Callings in Life: And
the Inferences from thence. That Christianity makes no Change ir Human Callings, or in the Civil Relations of Life: And the Inferences from thence. Of the Requifites of a lawful Calling, and how it is to be distinguisb’d from one that is unlawful. Of Gaming.
[Deliver'd in Two Sermons.]
1 Cor. vii. 17. But as God kath distributed to every Man,
as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk: And so ordain I in all the Churches.
T the first reading of these Words one would think that God's Diftribution to every Man, here
spoken of, was meant of the Charismata, or those Spiritual Gifts which
were in the Times of the Apostles plentifully
before doth necessarily determine us to understand the Words, as God bath distributed to every Man, in another Way. The Apostle, in this Epistle, has frequent Occasion to discourse about the Notion and Limits of Christian Liberty; and in this Chapter he resolves a Cafe or two ex profeso which were put to him about one great Point, wherein it was pretended Christian Liberty was ¡nightily concerned, and that was in the Business of Matrimony. The Case was this, whether a Christian who was married to an Unbeliever, (that is, either to an Infidel, Jew, or Heathen) might not, by virtue of his Christian Liberty, depart from the unbelieving Party, and dispose of himself as he thought fit. Ofthis, St. Paul's
Resolution is, that if any, who hath taken v. 12. upon him Christ's Religion, have an unbelieving Woman to bis Wife, and
she is willing to dwell with him, notwithstanding his new
Religion, he should not put her away: And, V. 13. on the contrary, if a Christian Woman had
an Infidel for her Husband, she should not depart from him so long as he was willing to cohabit with her. This is the Effect of what he has said in the Verses immediately