2. But fecondly, Let us take Occafion from hence to admire the infinite Love, and Affection, and Tenderness that the Holy Spirit of God bears towards us. Grieve not the Holy Spirit. - The Words intimate a Senfe of Grief and Trouble in him, when we fhew any Unkindness to him. He feems to be afflicted and made fad when we behave our felves frowardly and perverfly towards him. It is true, there are no Paffions, properly speaking, in the divine Nature; nor can the Holy Spirit be capable either of Joy or Grief, or any other human Affection: But all these Things are attributed to God by way of Compliance with our Infirmities, who are not wont to be fo deeply affected with Things, unless they be conveyed to us in fuch a way as we our felves have Experience of. But this is certain, that as from the Terms of God's Fury and Indignation, and the like, we may fafely conclude the infinite Averfion that is in his Nature to all Sin and Wickedness; fo from fuch Phrases, as these of his repenting of the Evil, of his pitying and having Compaffion on his Creatures, of his being grieved and made fad by the Injuries that are done to him, we may conclude the infinite Love and Good-will he bears to Mankind. If therefore the Confideration of the Infinitenefs of his Majefty who dwelleth within us, will not prevail upon us to treat him with Respect and Reverence; yet, one would



think, if we had any Ingenuity, that the
Senfe of the Unkindness that he takes when
he is ill-treated by us, fhould work upon
Will the Holy Bleffed God vouchsafe
to be grieved for fuch a Worm as I am,
when I refuse his Kindness, and will not
comply with his Love? And shall not I
be grieved for my own Ingratitude? Can I
be fo Impudent as to live in a daily Course
of Forgetfulness of God, and tranfgreffing
his Laws, when by fo doing I do not only
affront his Sovereignty and Greatness, but
also fin against the greatest Kindness and
Tenderness, that ever was conceived in any
Breaft? A Kindnefs fo great, that it cannot
be expreffed? The beft Words to fet it out
are borrowed from our Paffions and tendereft
Senfe of Things that we have: But, alas!
they fall infinitely fhort of truly expreffing
the Love that God bears to us. Oh! there-
fore let us think upon this. Let us confi-
der what it is only to grieve or' afflict by
our Unkindness any one that is our Friend,
and who hath by all Inftances of Goodness
endeavoured to deferve well of us. Hu-
man Nature cannot bear the Thoughts of
having difobliged fuch an one without a
fenfible Trouble. Oh then! How can we
with Patience endure to think of grieving
the Holy Spirit, who, as he is, without
Comparison, the best Friend we are capa-
ble of having, (as he hath done more for
us, and is ready to do more for us, than


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

we can either expect or imagine), fo is he pleased to exprefs his Refentment of our Unkindness in fo tender and affectionate a manner, as if he was one of our own Nature; nay, joined in the nearest Relation and Friendship to us.

But I leave this, to fhew in the next place what those Things are by which the Holy Spirit is grieved.

Now, in general it may be faid, that our Sins, and they only, are the Things which do grieve the Holy Spirit. There is nothing in the World in us, but Sin, that can give him any Difpleasure. Neither the Infirmities of our Nature, nor the Circumstances of our Condition in the World, nor our manifold Temptations, nor Perfecutions, nor Diftreffes, nor any thing in us, or about us, can feparate us from the Love of God in Chrift Fefus. It is only Sin: A wilful fwerving from the Rules that God hath fet us, and by which the Holy Spirit defires to govern us, that can give him Occafion of Offence. For this is the only Thing in the World that is contradictory to his Nature, and to the Ends for which he is pleased to dwell within us. But tho' this be the general Answer to the Enquiry, yet, for the impreffing the Thing the more upon the Mind, I fhall branch it out into four Particulars, purfuing the Metaphor of the Text, which supposes the Holy Spirit to be a Guest or a Lodger in our Hearts.

[ocr errors]

1. And firft of all, We grieve the Holy Spirit, when we neglect him, when we behave our felves with Carelefnefs and Indifference towards him. It must needs trouble any Gueft to fee that he who entertains him, tho' he doth not openly affront him, yet doth not fhew him that Respect he deferves, nor takes Care to please him in all Things. This very Thing is a Kind of flighting of him; and the fame Slight we put upon the Holy Ghoft, when we do not heartily give up our felves to be governed by him in all Things; when we do not diligently attend to his Holy Motions, and vigorously pursue them: But on the contrary live carelefs and idle Lives, fuffering the good Thoughts that God is daily fuggesting to our Minds, to die in us, without any Effect. This muft needs grieve the Holy Spirit, for it is a plain Evidence that we neglect him. If we had that Regard for him that we ought, we should not fuffer that Care he takes of us, and that he hath of our Good, to be thus utterly without Effect; but we should be watchful over our felves, and be continually looking into our own Hearts, and seeing how Things went there, and improve every Opportunity, every good Motion that the Spirit affords us, to our Advancement in Virtue and Goodness. It is not enough that we live without doing any great Hurt in the World, that we are not guilty of grievous and scandalous

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

dalous Crimes; but we must be heartily and fincerely Good, and we must be daily growing better and better. This is the End of the Spirit's dwelling within us: And if we do not make use of his Prefence to this End, we fhall provoke him, at length, to forfake us, and give us up as trifling Souls, upon whom no good is to be done.

2. But fecondly, As we grieve the Holy Spirit by our Carelefness and Indifference, and not attending to his Holy Motions; fo we do more yet grieve him by every Act of wilful, deliberate Sin; or by finning against our Confcience, either in fingle Acts, or in a Habit of any Sin. Sins of Ignorance and Inadvertency, Sins that we fall into unawares and thro' furprize, the Holy Spirit will bear with; but the indulging of any one Sin in the Courfe of our Lives, or the committing any one Act of Sin against our natural Light, wilfully, deliberately, when the Holy Spirit within us teftifies to us, that we ought not to do fuch a Thing; I say, this is fo high an Affront put upon the bleffed Spirit, that it is not to be born withal: It is a downright Violation of all the Laws of Hofpitality: It is a betraying our Gueft, and taking Part with his open Enemies. And what Gueft will not forfake his Habitation when he is thus treated. Oh! therefore, as we love our Souls, let us have a care of these Sins; let us do nothing against our Confcience; let us never willingly and de

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »