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THE INDWELLING OF THE SPIRIT.
Entrance into the digression concerning the indwelling of the Spirit— The man
ner of the abode of the Spirit with them on whom he is bestowed-Grounds of the demonstrations of the truth— The indwelling of the Spirit proved from the promises of it—Express affirmations of the same truth-Ps. li. 11; Rom. viii. 9, opened_Verses 11, 15; 1 Cor. ii. 12; Gal. iv. 6, opened—2 Tim. i. 14— The Spirit in his indwelling, distinguished from all his graces-Evasions removed—Rom. v. 5 explained— The Holy Ghost himself, not the grace of the Holy Ghost, there intended-Rom. viii. 11 opened—Gal. v. 22 -A personality ascribed to the Spirit in his indwelling: 1. In personal appellations, 1 John iv. 4; John xiv. 16, 17—2. Personal operations—Rom. viii. 11, 16, explained—3. Personal circumstances—The Spirit dwells in the saints as in a temple, 1 Cor. jii. 16, vi. 19— The indwelling of the Spirit farther demonstrated from the signal effects ascribed in the Scripture to his so doing; as, 1. Union with Christ_Union with Christ, wherein it consisteth -Union with Christ by the indwelling of the same Spirit in him and usThis proved from, (1.) Scriptural declarations of it—2 Pet. i. 4, how we are made partakers of the divine nature_Union expressed by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ John vi. 56 opened— The prayer of our Saviour for the union of his disciples, John xvii. 21— The union of the persons in the Trinity with themselves—(2.) Scriptural illustrations for the manifestation of union—The union of head and members, what it is, and wherein it doth consist-Of the union between husband and wife, and our union with Christ represented thereby_Of a tree and its branches-Life and quickening given by the indwelling Spirit, in quickening, life, and suitable operations -2. Direction and guidance given by the indwelling Spirit—Guidance or direction twofold—The several ways whereby the Spirit gives guidance and direction unto them in whom he dwells— The first way, by giving a new understanding, or a new spiritual light upon the understanding—What light men may attain without the particular guidance of the Spirit—Saving embracements of particular truths from the Spirit, 1 John ii. 20, 27 — The way whereby the Spirit leads believers into truth_Consequences of the want of this guidance of the Spirit—3. The third thing received from the indwelling Spirit, supportment—The way whereby the Spirit gives supportment: (1.) By bringing to mind the things spoken by Christ for their consolation, John xiv. 16, 17, 26—(2.) By renewing his graces in them as to strengthThe benefits issuing and flowing from thence-Restraint given by the indwelling Spirit, and how—The continuance of the Spirit with believers for the renewal of grace proved—John iv. 14, that promise of our Saviour at large opened—The water there promised is the Spirit—The state of them on whom he is bestowed—Spiritual thirst twofold—Isa. Ixv. 13; 1 Pet. ii. 2 -The reasons why men cannot thirst again who have once drunk of the Spirit explained—Mr G.’s exceptions considered and removed— The same work farther carried on; as also the indwelling of the Spirit in believers farther demonstrated by the inferences made from thence—The first: Our persons temples of the Holy Ghost, to be disposed of in all ways of holiness
– The second: Wisdom to try spirits—The ways, means, and helps, whereby the saints discern between the voice of Christ and the voice of Satan, HAVING showed that the Holy Spirit is purchased for us by the oblation of Christ, and bestowed on us through his intercession, to
abide with us for ever,-a truth confirmed by the unquestionable testimonies of the Father, Son, and Spirit, I shall, in the next place (I hope to the advantage and satisfaction of the Christian reader), a little turn aside to consider how and in what manner he abideth with them on whom he is bestowed, together with some eminent acts and effects of his grace, which he putteth forth and exerteth in them with whom he abideth, all tending to their preservation in the love and favour of God. A doctrine it is of no small use and importance in our walking with God, as we shall find in our pursuit of it. And therefore, though not appearing so directly argumentative and immediately subservient to the promotion of the dispute in hand, yet as tending to the establishment, guidance, and consolation, of them who do receive it, and to the cherishing, increasing, and strengthening of the faith thereof, I cannot but conceive it much conducing to the carrying on of the main intendment of this whole undertaking. I say, then, upon the purchase made of all good things for the elect by Christ, the holy and blessed Spirit of God is given to them, to dwell in them personally, for the accomplishment of all the ends and purposes of his economy towards them,—to make them meet for, and to bring them unto, the inheritance of the saints in light: personally, I say, in our persons (not by assumption of our nature, but giving us my cal union with Christ, not personal union with himself; that is, not one personality with him, which is impious and blasphemous to imagine), by a gracious inhabitation, distinct from his essential filling all things, and his energetical operation of all things as he will, as shall afterwards be declared. Now, this being a doctrine of pure revelation, our demonstrations of it must be merely scriptural; and such (as will instantly appear) we have provided in great plenty. In the carrying on, then, of this undertaking, I shall do these two things:-I. Produce some of those many texts of Scripture which are pregnant of this truth. II. Show what great things do issue from thence and are affirmed in reference thereunto, being inferences of a supposal thereof, all conducing to the preservation of believers in the love and favour of God unto the end.
For the first, I shall refer them to four heads: unto,-1. Promises that he should so dwell in us; 2. Positive affirmations that he doth SO; 3. Those texts that hold out his being distinguished from all his graces and gifts in his so doing; 4. Those that ascribe a personality to him in his indwelling in us.
Of each sort one or two places may suffice.
I. 1. The indwelling of the Spirit is the great and solemn promise of the covenant of grace; the manner of it we shall afterward evince: Ezek. xxxvi. 27, "I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes.” In the verse foregoing he tells them, “He will give them a new heart, and a new spirit;" which, because it may be
interpreted of a renewed frame of spirit (though it rather seems to be the renewing Spirit that is intended, as also chap. xi. 19), he expressly points out and differences the spirit he will give them from all works of grace whatsoever, in that appellation of him,"My Spirit,' my Holy Spirit; him will I put within you: I will give him or place him in interiori vestro, ‘in your inmost part,' in your heart; or in visceribus vestris, ' in your bowels' (as the soul is frequently signified by expressions of sensual things), within you.'” In his giving us a new heart and new spirit, by putting in us his Spirit, certainly more is intended than a mere working of gracious qualities in our hearts by his Spirit; which he may do, and yet be no more in us than in the greatest blasphemer in the world. And this, in the carrying of it on to its accomplishment, God calls his covenant: Isa. lix. 21, “This is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My Spirit that is upon thee shall not depart from thee;"_"Upon thee, in thee, that
. dwelleth in thee, as was promised.” And this promise is evidently renewed by the Lord Christ to his disciples, clearly also interpreting what that Spirit is which is mentioned in the promise of the covenant: Luke xi. 13, “Your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him” of him; that is, that pray to him for the Holy Spirit. Our Saviour instructs his disciples to ask the Holy Spirit of God upon the account of his being so promised; as Acts ii. 33. All our supplications are to be regulated by the promise, Rom. viii. 27. And surely he who (as shall afterward appear) did so plentifully and richly promise the bestowing of this Spirit on all those that believe on him, did not instruct them to ask for inferior mercy and grace under that name. That Spirit which the Lord Christ instructs us to ask of the Father is the Spirit which he hath promised to bestow so on us as that he shall dwell in us. That the Spirit which Christ instructs us to ask for, and which himself promises to send unto us, is the Holy Ghost himself, the Holy Spirit of promise, by whom we are sealed to the day of redemption, I suppose will require no labour to prove; what is needful to this end shall be afterward insisted on.
2. Positive affirmations that he doth so dwell in and remain with the saints are the second ground of the truth we assert. I shall name one or two testimonies of that kind: Ps. li. 11, saith David, “Take not thy Holy Spirit from me.” It is the Spirit, and his presence as unto sanctification, not in respect of prophecy or any other gift whatever, that he is treating of with God. All the graces of the Spirit being almost dead and buried in him, he cries aloud that He whose they are, and who alone is able to revive and quicken them, may not be taken from him. With him, in him, he was, or he could not be taken from him. And though the gifts or graces of the Spirit only may be intended, where mention is made of giving or bestowing
of him sometimes, yet when the saints beg of God that he would
. him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you.” I know not
. how the person of the Holy Ghost can be more clearly deciphered than here he is, “The Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead.” Why that is mentioned shall afterward be considered. And this is the Spirit, as he bears testimony of himself, dwells in believers; which is all we say, and, without farther curious inquiry, desire to rest therein. Doubtless it were better for men to captivate their understandings to the obedience of faith than to invent distinctions and evasions to escape the power of so many plain texts of Scripture, and those literally and properly, not figuratively and metaphorically, expressing the truth contained in them; which, though it may be done sometimes, yet is not, in a constant uniform tenor of expression, anywhere the manner of the Holy Ghost. The apostle also affirms farther, verse 15, that believers "receive the Spirit of adoption, whereby they cry, Abba, Father;" which, being a work within them, cannot be wrought and effected by adoption itself, which is an extrinsical relation. Neither can adoption and the Spirit of adoption be conceived to be the same. He also farther affirms it, 1 Cor. ii. 12, “ We have received the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God;”—“We have so received him as that he abides with us, to teach us, to acquaint our hearts with God's dealing with us; bearing witness with our spirits to the condition wherein we are in reference to our favour from God and acceptation with him.” And the same he most distinctly asserts, Gal. iv. 6, “God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” The distinct economy of the Father, Son, and Spirit, in the work of adoption, is here clearly discovered. He is sent, “sent of God,” that is, the Father. That name is personally to be appropriated when it is distinguished, as here, from Son and Spirit. That is the Father's work, that work of his love; he sends him. He hath sent
him as the “Spirit of his Son,” procured by him for us, promised by him to us, proceeding from him as to his personal subsistence, and sent by him as to his office of adoption and consolation. Then, whither the Father hath sent the Spirit of his Son, where he is to abide and make his residence, is expressed. It is into “our hearts,”
, saith the apostle; there he dwells and abides. And, lastly, what there he doth is also manifested. He sets them on work in whom he is, gives them privilege for it, ability to it, encouragement in it, causing them to cry, “ Abba, Father.” Once and again to Timothy doth the same apostle assert the same truth: 2 Epist. i. 14, “That good thing committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” The Lord knowing how much of our life and consolation depends on this truth, redoubles his testimony of it, that we might receive it,—even we, who are dull and slow of heart to believe the things that are written.
3. Whereas some may say, “It cannot be denied but that the Spirit dwells in believers, but yet this is not personally, but only by his grace;" I might reply that this indeed, and upon the matter, is not to distinguish but to deny what is positively affirmed. To say the Spirit dwells in us, but not the person of the Spirit, is not to distinguish de modo, but to deny the thing itself. To say, “The
, graces, indeed, of the Spirit are in us” (not "dwell in us,” for an accident is not properly said to dwell in its subject), “ but the Spirit itself doth not dwell in us," is expressly to cast down what the word sets up. If such distinctions ought to be of force, to evade so many positive and plain texts of Scripture as have been produced, it may well be questioned whether any truth be capable of proof from Scripture
Yet I say farther, to obviate such objections, and to prevent all quarrellings for the future, the Scripture itself, as to this business of the Spirit's indwelling, plainly distinguisheth between the Spirit itself and his graces. He is, I say, distinguished from them, and that in respect to his indwelling: Rom. v. 5, “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” The Holy Ghost is given to us to dwell in us, as hath been abundantly declared, and shall yet farther be demonstrated. Here he is mentioned together with the love of God, and his shedding thereof abroad in our hearts,—that is, with his graces; and is as clearly distinguished and differenced from them as cause and effect. Take the love of God in either sense that is controverted about this place,- for our love to God or a sense of his love to us,--and it is an eminent grace of the Holy Spirit. If, then, by "The Holy Ghost given unto us,” ye understand only the grace of the Holy Ghost, he being said to be given because that is given, then this must be the sense of the place, “The grace of the Holy Ghost is shed abroad in our hearts by the grace of the Holy Ghost that is given to us." Farther; if by "The