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delivered to them; then they obtained Abilities to execute the Office of Preaching, to which they were designed; and Courage to undertake it. Then they began, poffefs an assured and rational Belief of Christ, fo to profess and declare their Belief in him. So that the Reception of the Holy Ghost was to them, what Baptism is to uş, an entrance into the Church of Christ; according to what our Saviour had foretold to them after his Resurrection: Pe Mall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days bence.
These were the Advantages conferred upon the Faithful, by the coming of the Holy Ghost; but these were not all. The chief Design of his Coming was to lay the Foundations of propagating the Belief of Christ through the whole world, and to offer the Benefits of his Death and Passion to all the Members of Mankind; to assert the Divinity of Christ, to manifest the Truth of his Doctrine, to vindicate the Hohour of God, to convince the World of their Obligation to believe in him, and to confound the Opposition of his Adversaries. To this grand Design, the aforementioned Gifts bestowed upon the Apostles were fubfervient, being such as enabled them to Preach the Word, and confirm the Truth of it to all Nations under Heaven.
The Publication of the Gospel had hitherto been reserved, fhut up in dark
Speeches and Parabolical Expresfions; cona fined to an Hundred and Twenty Disciples, which we read to have been the Number of them in the First of the Acts. But from this Day it was to be set in a clear Light, communicated to all, without Obscurity or Reserve, and propagated to all parts of the habitable World. The Person of our Saviour Christ had hitherto appeared mean and contemptible; no Signs or Tokens of his glorious Kingdom were yet to be found; but now he was to be rescued from that Impuration by visible and undeniable Effects of Divine Power; his Kingdom was to commence in the Hearts of Men; and become Glorious both from the Number and Piety of his Followers.
The Jews had without Controul dared to reject his Doctrine, vilify his Person, and
put him to an ignominious Death; but now they were to be convinced by uncontestable Proofs from Heaven, that his Person was more than Human, his Doctrine Divine, and themselves guilty of the most Enormous Wickedness, in crucifying the Lord of Life. The Justice of God the Fa. ther had suffered Aspersions, in not reveng: ing the Sufferings, and rewarding the Labours of his Son: But now this was to be cleared, and the Jews convinced, that neither their Wickedness should pass unpunished, nor his Merits unrewarded. The Devil had triumphed in his supposed Con
quest over Christ, and his Imagination of having baffled the Design of the Redemption of Mankind, by procuring the Author of it to be put to Death; but his arrogant Pretensions were henceforth to be checked, his Hopes to be defeated, his Empire to be diffolved. All these Advantages were to flow from the Mission of the Holy Ghost; and all these our Lord sums up and promises in the Words of my Text: And when be is come; he will reprove the world of fin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. In which words we may enquire,
1. In what Serse all these Effects and Advantages are to be ascribed to the Mission of the Holy Ghost.
II. How far these promised Effects and Advantages of his Million were performed.
As to the First, the word reproving, inézęc, which is ufed in the Text, in the Original is taken from judicial Proceedings, and signifieth a Confutation of the adverse Party, by such Proofs and Testimonies, as by an impartial Judge should be allowed to be valid. The Office therefore of the Holy Ghost was to be Paraclet, the Advocate of our Saviour upon Earth, to plead his Cause, to produce these Proofs, to urge and propose them to the World. There were indeed abundant Proofs before in the Nature of the Thing ; but Proofs are not
conyi&ive, till laid open, declared and pro. posed.
This was the Office of the Holy Ghost, in this he was to be the Advocate of our Saviour; and this he performed by pouring extraordinary Gifts upon the Apostles, as on this Day; which might enable them with Power and Eloquence, with Courage and Success, to propose those Proofs, and convince the world of fin, of righteousness, and of judgment. They were to be the Instruments of this Reproof, this Convi. &tion; not only by their Gifts received, and Labours performed as upon this day ; but by all their Miracles, Sermons, and Preaching performed in the whole Course of their Ministry. All these Actions were equally directed to the same End, the Conviction of the World, yet all in Vertúe of those Abilities which they received upon this Day.
All their Gifts and Labours were solely owing to his Power, and derived from his Grant ; their knowledge to his Inspiration, their Courage and Constancy to his Support, their Speaking to his Impulse, their Miracles to his Power, their Success to his Blessing. So that all which they performed ought truly and properly to be ascribed to him. All the Miracles, Actions, and Prophecies of their Lord before the Mission of the Holy Ghost; all the Miracles and Labours of themselves after it, were to
contribute to the Conviction of the World; but all the Efficacy, the Application of this Conviction, was to proceed folely from the Abilities conferred on them, at the time of bis Mission.
And thus the Holy Ghost continueth his Office of Advocate, not only during the Apostles time, but in all Ages of the Church fince those Gifts which he then began to difpenfe to the Apostles, he still continueth to diffuse to the Faithful, and by the Efficacy of these Gifts it is, that the Church is maintained, the Faithful enlivened, the Conviétion continued. He then convinced the World by the Preaching of the Apostles ; and he now convinceth it, by the Preaching of their Successors acted with the same Spirit, and by the reading of the Holy Scriptures, written by them through his Aslistance and Direction. His Gifts indeed conferred on them were far more eminent, because more necessary ; his Administration of the Church in their time more remarkable, because manifesting the Completion of many particular Prophecies of our Saviour. Upon which Account the Promises of this Text were then more eminently fulfilled. And that they were so, I come next in Order to consider.
First then, the Holy Ghost by his coming, reproved or convinced the World of Sin; because they believed not on Christ, as it follows in the 9th Verse. By the World